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U.S Deports 71 Cubans Detained Before Reversal of Wet Foot-Dry Foot Policy

U.S Deports 71 Cubans Detained Before Reversal of Wet Foot-Dry Foot
Policy / EFE, 14ymedio

EFE (via 14ymedio) Miami , 16 January 2017 – A total of 71 Cubans were
deported this Sunday after being detained in ­­­­­the Florida Straits
seeking to enter the country days before the U.S government announced
the change in immigration policy toward Cubans, the Coast Guard
announced on Monday.

The immigrants were transferred to Bahía Cabañas, in Cuba, after being
intercepted on five different operations between January 4th and 6th,
dates prior to the White House announcing the end of the “wet foot/dry
foot” policy.

A statement by the Coast Guard said they carried out these operations in
their function to protect the American border and to “prevent these
trips by sea from ending up in tragedy.”

“We discourage anyone from going out to sea and attempting to reach U.S
soil illegally. You are risking your lives with little chances of
success,” said Captain Mark Gordon, of the Coast Guard Seventh District,
who emphasized that navigating the Florida Straits could be “extremely
dangerous,” especially with the bad weather currently in the area.

Gordon was categorical in saying the Coast Guard would continue these
operations to “detain those who initiate the illegal, foolish and unsafe
journey through the Florida Straits.”

He explained that once aboard the Coast Guard boat, the immigrants
received basic medical attention, food and water.

Since October 1, 2016, when the current fiscal year began, at least
1,893 Cubans have attempted to enter the United States by sea.

On 12 January, the U.S. government announced the repeal of the “wet
foot/ dry foot” policy,” which for 20 years granted preferential
immigration status to Cubans able to reach U.S. soil, and granted them
residency status after one year.

On the contrary, those intercepted at sea, even if only a few yards from
shore, were returned to Cuba.

Due to fear of this policy ending there has been a notable increase of
Cubans entering the U.S. in recent months, by land across U.S.-Mexico
border, as well as by sea.

Last fiscal year, between October 1,, 2015 and September 30, 2016, 7,411
Cubans attempted to reach the U.S coast by sea, a significant increase
from the 4, 473 that attempted the same in the 2015 fiscal year.

Translated by Chavely Garcia

Source: U.S Deports 71 Cubans Detained Before Reversal of Wet Foot-Dry
Foot Policy / EFE, 14ymedio – Translating Cuba –

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