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Migration shows no signs of slowing

Migration shows no signs of slowing

The past couple of weeks continued to be busy ones for U.S. immigration
officials dealing with the steady rise in Cuban migration to the U.S.
BY LARRY KAHN AND DAVID NEAL
Florida Keys Keynoter

MARATHON, FLA.
The past couple of weeks continued to be busy ones for U.S. immigration
officials dealing with the steady rise in Cuban migration to the United
States.

Six migrants landed at the Southernmost Point buoy in Key West early
Wednesday – arriving in a sportfishing boat that city police estimate is
worth $20,000.

Key West Police Department Officer Mathew Hansell wrote in a report that
he was stopped by two people at the Southernmost Beach Resort who told
him there was a vessel tied to the buoy. He and other officers called
the U.S. Coast Guard and Naval Air Station Key West, and Hansell spoke
with two tourists who were watching the hotel’s remote webcam. They told
him they saw six people get off the boat and walk toward Duval Street.

Then a cabbie alerted officers to three male and three female Cuban
migrants in the area of Duval and Virginia streets. Police found them in
good health. The men are ages 24, 27 and 48; the women are ages 17, 28
and 48.

Hansell wrote that the boat, a white Valkyre, is in poor condition. The
U.S. Border Patrol was notified of the arrivals and responded to process
the migrants.

Two dozen Cuban migrants began turning their feet from wet to dry by
reaching Elliott Key, east of Homestead and in Biscayne National Park,
on Tuesday.

The U.S. Border Patrol said it received the call at 12:30 that a group
of migrants were on Elliott Key. A number of agencies (Border Patrol,
U.S. Coast Guard, Fish & Wildlife, etc.) greeted the group, which turned
out to number 24: 16 males, one of which was a young boy, and eight females.

One man was taken to the hospital with an injured ankle. The rest were
transferred to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Dania
Beach before being turned over to Homeland Security’s Immigrations and
Customs Enforcement office.

The Border Patrol suspects a professional smuggling operation, but
stressed that’s only speculation until the investigation is completed.

On Monday, U.S. Park Service rangers encountered three Cuban men who
made it to dry land at Dry Tortugas National Park, about 68 miles west
of Key West. The men told Border Patrol agents they were at sea in a
“rustic vessel” for three days. The agency reported the men to be in
good health.

Before that landing, the Keys went six days without a migrant arrival.
On July 5, 12 men, three women and a girl arrived in Tavernier in the
Upper Keys in a single-engine “rustic vessel.”

All the recently-arrived migrants will be able to stay in the United
States and apply for permanent residency after one year. Under U.S.
policy with Cuba, migrants are automatically considered refugees. Those
who make it to U.S. soil can stay. Those interdicted at sea are taken
back to Cuba.

But Cuban citizens are leaving the communist island nation in droves
because they fear that policy may soon end because of the renewed
diplomatic ties between the Obama administration and the Castro regime.
If the nations are on friendlier terms, the logic of labeling Cuban
migrants refugees is called into question.

DAVID GOODHUE, EDITOR OF THE REPORTER, CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.

Source: Migration shows no signs of slowing | In Cuba Today –
www.incubatoday.com/news/article90291322.html

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