An alarming trend is emerging in South Florida, where officials see an increase in the number of migrants, mostly Haitians and Cubans, traveling to U.S. shores on makeshift boats. .
Since last October, U.S. Coast Guard crews have intercepted more than 6,000 Cubans, the most in a fiscal year since the 1990s, according to the agency.
“We have seen this before. It is a natural phenomenon. The fact is that a significant number of people are at a very dangerous risk of losing their lives.PATROL AGENT IN THE MIAMI SECTOR.
For years, Cubans have fled the island, but recent unrest, persecution, and lack of basic supplies have forced more and more people to leave.
“Individuals have brought us stories of being persecuted by the local government for not being able to attend certain events because they do not agree with local and communist policies on the island. There are also many stories of family and friends who have been detained on non-misdemeanor charges,” said David Claros, director of the Immigration Legal Services Southeast Region at Church World Service, as he added additional staff. I added that I am hiring. to meet demand.
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Patrols here are complex due to the changing terrain and require coordination between land, air and sea agencies. CNN was recently incorporated into the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Corps, U.S. Border Patrol, and Coast Guard.
Agencies work together to identify and deter immigrants so they can be repatriated. However, if you do land, you will be detained by border guards.
The Coast Guard is trying to stop the migrants from reaching U.S. shores, but thousands have made it to shore. has made about 3,600 arrests in the Miami sector covering the United States, up from just over 1,000 last year.
Authorities have come across a variety of vessels at sea and on land. Some of them are strung together with surfboards, others are boats with limited regulations and no navigation systems, often traveling all day long. Just an hour after the Coast Guard patrol began, the crew spotted a makeshift vessel at sea with about eight people on board.
And it’s not just Cubans. Authorities are also working to increase the number of Haitian migrants traveling by sea. The Coast Guard is responding to the incident of a tall ship carrying dozens, if not hundreds, of Haitian migrants, putting them in great danger.
“The conditions on board were terrible,” Coast Guard maritime interdiction agent Mark Ramfer said, recalling the ships that arrived on Florida’s coast earlier this year.
“There were reports of injuries in the hull, so I had to jump down there. It was just an obvious standing room,” he said. 200 people were crammed in there, defecating and urinating in standing places. ”
Slosar acknowledged the need for resources to deal with new trends.
“We all work with limited resources, and if we come across these individuals, we have no idea who is in that boat. Our agents will take them to our detention center, make sure they are healthy, clean, fed and safe before identifying them exactly who they are. It takes time.