MIAMI ( Associated Press) – US immigration officials said Monday that one hundred and eighty-seven Cuban immigrants were arrested after they arrived in the Florida Keys on 10 boats over the weekend.
United States Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) chief agent Walter Schlosser posted photos of small boats without passengers on Twitter.
The Miami Herald reported that a large group was seen via a live feed at Southernmost Point Boy in Key West early Sunday. Dozens of men, women and children were captured in the images.
Between October and June, CBP agents tracked down and detained more than 1,300 Cubans arriving in Florida. The figure was around 200 and 300 in the same period of the last two years.
The United States Coast Guard said it has detained nearly 4,000 Cubans at sea since October last year. In recent years, after the “wet feet, dry feet” policy was abolished in early 2017, the agency saw a decline in the number of Cubans detained at sea. The policy allowed most Cubans arriving on American soil to remain in the country.
The number of Cubans migrating by boat is a small fraction of the large wave of Cubans crossing the US-Mexico border. Some 155,000 have arrived since last October.
Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades due to the coronavirus pandemic and the tightening of US sanctions.