These repatriations are a result of two separate migrant interdictions at sea within the last week in the south Florida Straits. In each instance, the Coast Guard helped secure the U.S. border and prevented these perilous sea voyages from ending in tragedy.
“We have seen an increase over the last year in the number of Cuban migrants trying to enter the United States via maritime means,” said Cmd. Timothy Cronin, Coast Guard 7 District deputy chief of enforcement. “The Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection continue to vigilantly patrol the Florida Straits and Caribbean to rescue migrants from potentially deadly voyages and enforce U.S. immigration policy.”
The Coast Guard has observed a steady increase in illegal maritime migration attempts from Cuba to the Southeastern U.S. since the U.S. announcement of normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014.
Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 2,770 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. This number represents the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.