Coast Guard repatriates 90 Cuban migrants

A Coast Guard Station Key West boat crew approaches a rustic vessel Nov. 10, 2016, with 18 Cuban migrants onboard approximately one mile southeast of Marquesas, Florida. All of the migrants were safely embarked with no medical concerns. (Coast Guard photo)

A Coast Guard Station Key West boat crew approaches a rustic vessel Nov. 10, 2016, with 18 Cuban migrants onboard approximately one mile southeast of Marquesas, Florida. (Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard repatriated 90 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, since Tuesday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans repatriated 62 Cuban migrants Tuesday and 28 Cuban migrants Wednesday.

These repatriations are a result of eight separate at-sea migrant interdictions in the South Florida Straits within the last week. 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.

“Migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States by boat often travel aboard dangerously overloaded and ill-equipped vessels,” said Cmdr. Willie Carmichael, deputy chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District. “People aboard these vessels are putting their lives at extreme risk. Immigration policies have not changed, the Coast Guard’s missions have not changed. Migrants interdicted at sea will be returned to their country of origin in accordance with immigration laws.”

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 687 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.

The Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported out of Key West.

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