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Suspicious boat stopped morning after large Cuban migrant landing

Suspicious boat stopped morning after large Cuban migrant landing

The number of Cubans fleeing their country has spiked recently following
thawing diplomatic ties last year between the Obama administration and
the Castro regime.
Eight Cuban men arrived in the boat on March, 2016. David Goodhue
KeysInfoNet

The U.S. Border Patrol is investigating three men stopped by Monroe
County Sheriff’s Office deputies on the water off Sugarloaf Key around 6
a.m. Tuesday, the morning after 39 Cuban migrants landed near the same
Lower Keys location in a suspected human smuggling operation.

But Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Adam Hoffner said the men stopped
Tuesday morning were not part of the large group that landed the night
before, although they could be “possibly linked to smuggling events.”

“They were not part of the landing, but were on a suspicious vessel MCSO
encountered near the same area,” Hoffner said. “The investigation is
still pending.”

The group that arrived Monday night included a four-year-old girl, a
pregnant woman and a man who Monroe County Fire-Rescue medics took to
the Lower Keys Medical Center for treatment for minor injuries. The
little girl was treated for seasickness and dehydration, said Monroe
County public information officer Cammy Clark.

The Border Patrol said the group was dropped off in a vessel driven by
likely smugglers.

“The group encountered rough sea conditions on a go-fast boat for three
days in turbulent waters and warm temperatures,” Hoffner said.

Tuesday morning’s vessel stop comes as the Border Patrol and Sheriff’s
Office have had to deal with a spike in migrant landings in the Keys.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in the past week,” Hoffner said.
“We’re working with the Coast Guard and HSI [U.S. Homeland Security
Investigations] to see if there’s anything we can do to counter this and
prevent it.”

On Sunday, July 17, 13 men arrived in Key Largo on a “single-engine
rustic vessel,” Hoffner said. The men told Border Patrol agents they
spent four days at sea.

Monday morning, around 5 a.m., nine Cuban men arrived at the Ocean Reef
Club community in north Key Largo, also in a single-engine rustic craft.
They told Border Patrol agents that their journey from Cuba took six days.

Also on Monday, around 10 a.m., three men came to shore at the Middle
Keys community of Key Colony Beach.

Last Wednesday, July 13, six migrants landed at the Southernmost Point
buoy in Key West — arriving in a sportfishing boat.

The day before, July 12, 24 migrants — 16 males, one of which was a
young boy, and eight females — arrived at Elliott Key, east of
Homestead and in Biscayne National Park. The Border Patrol suspects the
migrants were delivered in a smuggler’s boat, but the investigation is
ongoing.

On July 11, U.S. Park Service rangers encountered three Cuban men who
made it to 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.

On July 5, 12 men, three women and a girl arrived in Tavernier in the
Upper Keys in a single-engine rustic vessel.

Since all the migrants made it to dry land, they will likely be allowed
to stay in the U.S. and apply for permanent residency after a year. U.S.
policy toward Cuba considers all arriving migrants refugees. Under the
so-called “wet-foot, dry-foot” change made in 1995 to the Cuban
Adjustment Act, all Cubans leaving their homeland who are stopped at sea
are sent back. All who step foot on U.S. soil can stay.

The number of Cubans fleeing their country has spiked recently following
thawing diplomatic ties last year between the Obama administration and
the Castro regime. Many Cubans fear that with strengthening relations
between the neighboring countries, the logic at the root of wet-foot,
dry-foot no longer applies and the policy may soon end.

Source: Suspicious boat stopped morning after large Cuban migrant
landing | In Cuba Today –
www.incubatoday.com/news/article91145287.html

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