Coast Guard interdicts more than 50 migrants during Fourth of July weekend

Coast Guard Cutter Seneca file photo

Coast Guard Cutter Seneca file photo

MIAMI — The Coast Guard interdicted more than 50 migrants during the Fourth of July Weekend from two separate at-sea interdictions.

On July 3, watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville received notification from the good Samaritan vessel, Bochem London, of a disabled vessel with more than 20 people aboard approximately 130 miles northeast of Jacksonville, Florida. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca (WMEC-906) was diverted to the scene and interdicted 22 Haitian migrants, 17 males, four females and one child, due to safety concerns with the vessel.

On Saturday, watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector Key West received notification from a good Samaritan vessel stating there was a 24-foot wooden rustic vessel with more than 30 people aboard approximately 27 miles south of Key West, Florida. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Trump (WPC-1111) was diverted and interdicted 33 Cuban migrants, 27 males and six females, due to safety concerns with the vessels.

“The Coast Guard continues to maintain a focused and coordinated effort with multiple agency assets to interdict any attempt to dangerously and unlawfully immigrate by sea to the United States,” said Cmdr. Michael Vega, Coast Guard 7th District enforcement branch. “Those who are interdicted at sea attempting to illegally immigrate will be repatriated to their country in accordance with existing U.S. immigration policy.”

Approximately 3,027 Haitian migrants have attempted to illegally enter the U.S. via the maritime environment in fiscal year 2019 compared to 2,727 Haitian migrants in fiscal year 2018. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean, and Atlantic.

Approximately 394 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally enter the U.S. via the maritime environment in fiscal year 2019, which began on Oct. 1, compared to 384 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2018. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean, and Atlantic.

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

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