US Coast Guard crews repatriate over 900 Caribbean migrants

MIAMI, CMC – The United States (US) Coast Guard says that crews patrolling the Florida Straits and Windward and Mona Passes in the Caribbean Sea prevented hundreds of illegal Caribbean migrants from reaching the United States by sea from January 6 to 13.

In a statement on Saturday, the US Coast Guard said that this past week, Coast Guard cutter crews repatriated 824 Cubans to Matanzas and Cabanas, Cuba, and 83 Haitians to Cap Haitien, Haiti.

A US Coast Guard crew rescued 17 Cuban migrants stranded on Elbow Cay, Bahamas and transferred them to Royal Bahamian Defense Force authorities for removal at the request of the Bahamian government, the US Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard cutter and station crews interdicted 13 illegal ventures preventing 239 migrants from landing on US shores.

“Migrants interdicted at sea were transferred to Coast Guard cutters, where they were provided humanitarian care including food, water, shelter and any basic medical attention they needed,” said the US Coast Guard in a statement. “Migrants without a legal basis to enter the United States are repatriated to their country of origin or departure.”

“We urge anyone considering attempting the always dangerous and very often deadly illegal maritime migration routes to not risk their lives by taking to the sea,” said Rear Admiral Brendan McPherson, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District and director of Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast.

“Our HSTF-SE crews will rescue and repatriate anyone trying to enter the United States illegally by sea,” he added. “Southeast maritime border incursions will result in your removal and ineligibility for legal immigration options.”

The US White House and Department of Homeland Security recently announced new, legal pathways for those wishing to come to the United States.

“Cubans and Haitians who enter by sea will be placed in removal proceedings and will be ineligible for the parole process as a result,” the US Coast Guard said.

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