US Coast Guard repatriates Cuban migrants

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MIAMI,  – The United States Coast Guard says crew members from its cutter Kathleen Moore have repatriated eight Cubans to Cuba after being interdicted off the coast of Islamorada – a village made up of six of the Florida Keys.

The US Coast Guard says that late Friday,  a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew “spotted and notified Coast Guard Station Key West watchstanders of a rustic green raft with eight people aboard at approximately 41 miles east of Islamorada.”

The US Coast Guard said Station Islamorada law enforcement team “embarked the eight Cuban adult males and transferred them to the Cutter Kathleen Moore to be repatriated.” 

“Migrant interdiction patrols help save lives by deterring dangerous illegal migrant activity and removing migrants from dangerous environments,” said Captain Michael Gisele, Coast Guard District Seven Chief of Enforcement in Miami. 

“The Coast Guard patrols the Florida Straits, Windward Passage, and the Mona Passage, maintaining a solid presence with air and sea assets,” he added. “Migrants attempting to enter the United States illegally can expect to be repatriated, regardless of their nationality.”

Since October 1, 2020, the US Coast Guard said its crews had interdicted 298 Cubans, compared to 5,396 Cuban migrants in the Fiscal Year 2016; 1,468 in the Fiscal Year 2017; 259 in the Fiscal Year 2018; 313 in the Fiscal Year 2019; and 49 migrants in the Fiscal Year 2020.

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