MIAMI — Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans repatriated 38 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Thursday.
This repatriation is a result of four separate migrant interdictions at sea in the south Florida Straits. In all instances Cubans were trying to illegally enter the United States on unseaworthy vessels commonly referred to as “rustics” or “chugs.”
“Coast Guard missions and operations in the Southeast remain unchanged. The Coast Guard strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea,” said Capt. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard 7th District chief of enforcement. “These trips are extremely dangerous . Individuals located at sea may be returned to Cuba.”
The Raymond Evans along with numerous other Coast Guard patrol boats and aircraft aggressively patrol the Florida Straits to detect and deter illegal and unsafe maritime migration. Safety of life at sea is always the Coast Guard’s top priority.
Coast Guard Assets involved in these interdictions were:
- Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans, a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Key West.
- Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr., a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Key West.
- Coast Guard Station Islamorada smallboat crew.
Since Oct. 1, 2014, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 2,909 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. These numbers represent the total amount of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.
For more information on how to legally immigrate to the U.S., call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.