Coast Guard repatriates 109 Cuban migrants

CGC Raymond EvansMIAMI — The Coast Guard repatriated 109 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, since Nov. 19.

The Coast Guard Cutter William Flores repatriated 76 Cuban migrants Nov. 19, the Coast Guard Cutter Isaac Mayo repatriated 15 Cuban migrants Wednesday and the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans repatriated 18 Cuban migrants Friday.

These repatriations are a result of eight separate at-sea migrant interdictions in the South Florida Straits since Nov. 11. In each instance, the Coast Guard helped secure the U.S. border and prevented these sea voyages from ending in tragedy.

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

“We discourage anyone from taking to the sea and attempting to reach U.S. soil illegally – they are risking their lives with very little chance of success,” said Cmdr. Willie Carmichael, deputy chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. “Immigration policies remain unchanged and we will continue to work with our federal and local partners to stop those who seek to illegally migrate to the U.S. by a maritime route.”

The Coast Guard has observed an increase in illegal maritime migration attempts to the Southeastern U.S. from Cuba. The Coast Guard 7th District estimates 776 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea since Oct. 1. In fiscal year 2016, 7,411 Cubans attempted to illegally migrate via the sea compared to 4,473 in fiscal year 2015. 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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