Makeshift boats carrying over 40 Cuban migrants arrive on Florida coast

U.S. Border Patrol apprehended over 40 Cuban migrants that braved the Atlantic on makeshift rafts and rowboats to reach the Florida coast, authorities revealed Saturday.

News of the migrants’ maritime arrivals came in two announcements, the first on Saturday morning, when nine individuals were taken into custody after arriving on Jupiter Island, located north of Palm Beach County. The group arrived in a single rowboat that appeared to have some type of weights covered in trash bags around the exterior of the vessel. Later Saturday, Border Patrol apprehended 32 migrants who had arrived in multiple makeshift boats in the Florida Keys.

All 41 migrants were taken into custody, Border Patrol Miami Sector Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar tweeted. He added that authorities are investigating.

The Biden administration’s undoing of former President Donald Trump’s border policies prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican migrants to reach the southern border. Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras — have often been manipulated by human smuggling operations, which publicized those policy moves to push a narrative that the border was open.

A thousand miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, though, federal law enforcement and military that patrol the waters surrounding Florida and Puerto Rico are seeing the emergence of a new border crisis.

As record numbers of Cubans and Haitians attempt to cross the southern land border illegally, others are increasingly taking to the sea. Department of Homeland Security authorities with the Coast Guard told the Washington Examiner their personnel are interdicting more migrants at sea than ever before.

A Coast Guard spokesperson pointed to socioeconomic problems in both countries as a reason migrants choose to flee but added that the agency has warned against the risks involved in traversing the seas in unsafe vessels without life jackets. It is also a violation of federal law.

The Coast Guard encounters migrants packed into shoddy vessels in such places as the Florida Keys, South Beach in Miami, and off the Puerto Rico coast daily. Others who made landfall or swam ashore are taken into custody by Border Patrol.

Since the start of the federal government’s fiscal year last October, the Coast Guard crews deployed to the southeastern coast of Florida and waters around Haiti and Puerto Rico have intercepted more than 10,000 people attempting to enter the United States illegally by boat. Just 2,000 of the 10,000 were off the coast of Cuba and Puerto Rico, while the remainder were around South Florida and the Florida Keys.

* Article from: The Washington Examiner