A group of 12 Cuban migrants, and one lucky dog, who came ashore in Miami Beach Tuesday morning were reunited with relatives overnight in Doral.
The group came ashore at 1801 Collins Avenue at 11:17 a.m. Tuesday, according to Miami Beach Police. The migrants said their trip took six days. They set sail on Thursday evening and said the weather over the last two days was the worst. They were out of food and water by the time they got to Miami Beach.
"We came here because this is a great country of opportunity," Eduardo Masuvita said in Spanish.
The makeshift boat that squeezed all 12 on board was cluttered with empty coolers, clothes and canoe paddles.
One of the migrants was a 16-year-old mother who left her baby back in Cuba.
The young woman's father was aware of her plans to attempt the trip, and says he's happy she made it to land safely. He himself made the same journey a few short months ago.
Doctors who examined the group say they are all in good health.
The dog that came ashore is being quarantined with a family member for 10 days, Miami-Dade Animal Services officials said.
Under the wet-foot, dry-foot policy, the group will be allowed to stay because they made it to land.
The past two weeks have seen a larger number Cuban refugees attempting to arrive by sea.
"Yes, we have seen a spike in the numbers of those, including those yesterday, that are coming via the sea," Cuban studies expert Andy Gomez said Wednesday.
With the Cuban Adjustment Act, Cubans are automatically given political asylum, but with all the recent changes on the island, the policy could be in peril.
"The rumor in Havana as I've been told is that there's a possibility that the Cuban Adjustment Act -- Wet Foot, Dry Foot -- might be reformed or done away with," Gomez said. "If it's done away with that's why we might be seeing more people trying to get here before it gets repealed."