Florida

United States Coast Guard Repatriates 216 Cuban Migrants in One Week

010816 cuban migrants at sea
USCG

The United States Coast Guard has repatriated 216 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, within the past week.

USCG said these repatriations are a result of 18 separate migrant interdictions at sea in the south Florida Straits.

The Coast Guard said it has observed a steady increase in illegal maritime migration attempts from Cuba to the southeastern U.S. since the announcement of improved diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014.

In the first five days of January 2016, 176 Cuban migrants have attempted to reach U.S. shores.

"Immigration policies have not changed and we urge people not to take to the ocean in unseaworthy vessels," said Capt. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard 7th District chief of response. "It is illegal and extremely dangerous."

Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard estimates 1,800 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. These numbers represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

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