Dozens of illegal immigrants have been returned to Cuba after being stopped in four ships off the Florida Keys, US Coast Guard officials said.
Boats carrying a total of 45 Cubans were sighted by civilians about 12 miles south of Boot Key late Wednesday, the US Coast Guard 7th District said on Sunday.
Three other “rustic” vessels carrying more migrants en route to the United States were then intercepted by Coast Guard skipper Charles Sexton’s crew on Friday, including one about 17 miles south of Long Key.
photos released by the Coast Guard on Sunday showed the migrants huddled together on small wooden boats, including one that appeared to be extremely tattered.
“The possibility of being stopped by Coast Guard crews while migrating illegally through the Caribbean Sea is high,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Cobb of the Coast Guard’s Seventh Precinct said in a statement. “No one should risk their lives on unsafe land ships in unpredictable seas.”
The four bans off the Florida Keys came just days after the Coast Guard returned 52 people to Cuba on Tuesday after being stopped south of Key West and other areas while they were in four boats and an inflatable boat, the reported Miami Herald.
Coast Guard crews have banned 2,464 Cubans since October, marking the largest exodus of migrants since 2016 – when nearly 5,400 Cubans were stopped trying to enter the US illegally, data shows.
https://nypost.com/2022/06/20/migrants-in-boats-sent-back-to-cuba-off-florida-keys/ Migrants in boats sent back to Cuba off the Florida Keys