A new spike in "desperate" Cubans heading for United States hores on rickety, homemade boats has U.S. Coast Guard officials worried, especially with some of the migrants willing to resist officers who intercept them, NBC News reports.
"In the past year, we've had over 20 cases where there has been violence toward our boarding team members or other migrants on these vessels," said Capt. Mark Fedor, the chief of Response for the U.S. Coast Guard Seventh District.
Over 1,500 Cubans took to the sea in the last three months of 2015, according to Coast Guard statistics, and 176 were been picked up in the first five days in January. It's a steady escalation in migration when winter weather typically keeps potential migrants out of their boats.