Cuban migrants apprehended near Key Biscayne – 01/01/2008 –

Tania Valdemoro of the Miami Herald reports that

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department picked up 17 Cuban migrants early Tuesday morning near the Cape Florida Lighthouse in Key Biscayne.

Another 12 Cubans had made it to land and told Key Biscayne police that the others were in the water and needed help.

Law enforcement officials received a call for help around 12:30 a.m., said Barry Bena, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman.

Bena said he could not comment on the status of either group of migrants because federal officials had not yet decided the disposition of their cases.

Under the wet foot/dry foot policy, Cubans who arrive on American soil are generally allowed to stay while those interdicted at sea are generally sent back to the island.

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