Two Coral Bay residents separately spotted large groups of what appeared to be undocumented immigrants along the main road on St. John’s East End on Sunday, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jeffrey Quinones said via e-mail that V.I. National Park rangers apprehended only seven.
The two residents did not want their names used because of safety concerns, but one said she saw 20 undocumented immigrants around 8 a.m. The other resident said there were at least 40 to 50 of them.
“They were strung along the road from Zootenvaal to Princess Bay. Ten here, 15 there. Some were sitting on the side of the road,” she said.
Quinones said there were two minors among the seven apprehended. He said they were accompanied by a parent.
He said they were all Haitian nationals. Quinones could not be reached by phone and did not answer the handful of other questions asked in the e-mail.
He said they surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. An ICE official in Miami who refused to be named said the seven were in the process of being transferred to ICE custody. He said he could not speak to the ultimate disposition of the case.
Jayne Schaeffer, deputy superintendent at the park, said she had no further information.