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U.S. Coast Guard Sends 44 Migrants Back to Cuba to “Deter Illegal Migrant Activity”

Cuban Refugess (Wikipedia Commons)

MIAMI, USA — The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr., a 154-foot fast response cutter, repatriated 44 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, on Monday.

These repatriations are a result of three separate migrant interdictions at sea within the last week in the south Florida Straits. In each instance, the Coast Guard helped secure the U.S. border and prevented these perilous sea voyages from ending in tragedy.

“The Coast Guard and our partner agencies continue to diligently patrol the waters around the United States to deter illegal migrant activity,” said Capt. Mark Fedor, chief of response for the Coast Guard 7th District. “Our main concern is the safety of life at sea. When migrants put their lives in the hands of smugglers, or take to the sea aboard unseaworthy vessels, they put their lives at grave risk.”

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

Since October 1, the Coast Guard 7th District estimates that 2,785 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the sea. This number represents the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

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