US immigration authorities said on Monday that one hundred and eighty-seven Cuban immigrants were arrested after arriving in the Florida Keys on 10 boats over the weekend.
Chief Agent Walter Slusar of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) posted photos of the small boats without passengers on Twitter.
The Miami Herald reported that a large group was seen early Sunday via live broadcasts in the southernmost point of Key West. Dozens of men, women and children were captured in the photos.
Between October and June, Customs and Border Protection agents found and detained more than 1,300 Cubans who arrived in Florida. That number was around 200 and 300 in the same time period in the last two years.
The US Coast Guard reports that it has held nearly 4,000 Cubans at sea since October last year. In recent years, since ending its “wet foot, dry foot” policy in early 2017, the agency has seen a decline in the number of Cubans held at sea. The policy allowed most Cubans arriving on US soil to remain in the country.
The number of Cubans migrating by boat still represents a small part of the large wave of Cubans crossing the US-Mexico border. About 155,000 people have arrived since last October.
Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades due to the coronavirus pandemic and the tightening of US sanctions.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
“Coffee fanatic. Gamer. Award-winning zombie lover. Student. Hardcore internet advocate. Twitter guru. Subtly charming bacon nerd. Thinker.”