Coast Guard Cutter William Trump repatriates 16 Cuban migrants

William TrumpMIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Trump repatriated 16 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Sunday.

These repatriations are a result of two separate migrant interdictions at sea 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.

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, nearly 15 months ago. In the month of February 2016, 269 Cuban migrants have attempted to reach U.S. shores.

“Immigration policies have not changed and we urge people not to take to the ocean in unseaworthy vessels,” said Capt. Mark Gordon, Coast Guard 7th District chief of response enforcement. “It is illegal and extremely dangerous.”

The Coast Guard and partner agencies aggressively patrol the Florida Straits and the Caribbean Sea to detect and deter illegal and unsafe maritime migration. Safety of life at sea is always the Coast Guard’s top priority.

Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 2,380 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

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