Friday, January 27, 2023

US speeds up return of Haitians and Cubans who arrived by boat in Florida

Florida officials have turned back a growing number of Cubans and Haitians who have arrived by sea in recent weeks as they seek asylum in the United States, after a surge in irregular arrivals by small boats since December. Last Thursday, the US Coast Guard repatriated 824 Cubans and 83 Haitians who tried to enter the country by sea via the Florida coast between January 6 and 13, the institution reported this weekend .



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The Coast Guard said in a statement that in those seven days they intercepted 13 attempted arrivals at sea “which prevented 239 immigrants from landing on American shores,” in addition to rescuing and repatriating 17 Cubans stranded at Elbow Cay in the Bahamas. has been saved. They are available to the authorities of that country.

The institution specified, “Migrants intercepted at sea were transferred to Coast Guard patrol boats, where they were provided with humanitarian care, including food, water, shelter and any basic medical care.” Since last December, Florida has reported a notorious increase in immigrant arrivals, mostly from Cuba and Haiti, as well as interceptions of ships off its shores.

On Friday, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) noted that more than 5,200 migrants arrived in 306 landings since August of last year, bringing the total to 8,400 undocumented immigrants who were intercepted at sea.

The institution specified, “Migrants intercepted at sea were transferred to Coast Guard patrol boats, where they were provided with humanitarian care, including food, water, shelter and any basic medical care.”

Since last December, Florida has reported a notorious increase in immigrant arrivals, mostly from Cuba and Haiti, as well as interceptions of ships off its shores. Local residents on jet skis have been helping some migrants in recent weeks who tried to swim after arduous and life-threatening days of travel in makeshift boats, reports The Guardian.

On Friday, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) noted that more than 5,200 migrants arrived in 306 landings since August of last year, bringing the total to 8,400 people repatriated after being held at sea.

That same Friday, the US Border Patrol reported on Twitter three landings in the Florida Keys in the past 24 hours, with 50 Cubans aboard who ultimately remained in the custody of federal immigration officials for repatriation.

This Saturday, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship headed to the Bahamas rescued a group of 17 Cubans who were stranded at sea on a fragile vessel, the US firm reported. The Miami, Florida-based firm said in a statement that the Liberty of the Seas cruise ship encountered “a small drifting vessel that was in need of assistance”, and that the crew “immediately began a rescue operation, saving 17 people”. was taken safely.

Following the rescue, the crew received medical attention before turning the rafters over to the US Coast Guard, Royal Caribbean. The group said they had been at sea for “weeks”, cruise passenger and rescue witness Josh Levin told local channel WPTV.

The increase in arrivals by sea of ​​Cubans and Haitians, and the interception of fragile vessels, prompted the state’s governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, to declare a state of emergency and send troops from the Florida National Guard to help with the task. Immigration.

Since October 1, 2022, the start date of the current fiscal year, the Coast Guard has detained 4,917 Cubans. During the last fiscal period, the Coast Guard detained 6,182 immigrants of that nationality.

Nation World News Desk
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