US Coast Guard Responds to Increase of Cuban Immigrants

The United States Coast Guard has increased patrols in the Florida Straits in response to the surge of illegal migration attempts into the United States over the last three weeks while continuing to aggressively patrol the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

The Coast Guard repatriated 121 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, interdicted in seven separate events in the past week. All seven interdictions included unseaworthy, homemade vessels that posed significant risk to the migrants attempting to make the perilous journey.

In the month of December, a total of 481 Cuban migrants have been either interdicted at sea or landed in the United States during 37 total events. That is a 117% increase from December 2013.
In the first five days of 2015, a total of 96 Cuban migrants have been interdicted at sea during seven events in the Florida Straits.

“The Administration’s recent announcement regarding Cuba does not affect immigration policies including wet foot/dry foot or the Cuban Adjustment Act – which only Congress can change,” said Rear Adm. Jake Korn, Coast Guard 7th District commander. “The Coast Guard strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the United States by taking to the sea. The Coast Guard is aggressively maintaining a presence in the region and discourages these dangerous and deadly voyages.”