Four Haitian boat survivors released, could get work visas

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MIAMI, Fla. (AP) — Four Haitians who were among a group of Caribbean nationals found clinging to the hull of a capsized boat off the coast of Miami last week have been released from federal custody. And they could be eligible for work visas in the United States.

Immigration authorities had detained the survivors as part of an investigation into the accident, which killed four women.

Since the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, the U.S. hasn't been deporting Haitians who don't have criminal records.

The four survivors are witnesses in a criminal case. And an official with an advocacy group for immigrants says their cooperation with law enforcement will probably make them eligible for visas that would allow them to work.

It's not clear whether another survivor, from the Bahamas, is still in detention.

Six other Jamaican and Bahamian survivors each face a federal charge of attempting to re-enter the U.S. after being deported. One also faces an attempted smuggling charge.