MIAMI, Florida – Hundreds of migrants are expected to transfer from Dry Tortugas to Key West this Thursday, after a massive arrival in rustic homemade boats in recent days.
The Coast Guard reported that there are 337 immigrants who disembarked over the weekend in the Dry Tortugas National Park and that they should arrive this Thursday in Key West. The transfer occurs while another group of migrants who were at the Dania Beach detention center in Broward County were released.
It is expected that in the next hours and days other migrants will continue to leave the detention center; most Cubans.
At the beginning of the year, dozens of rustic boats have arrived in the Florida Keys loaded with migrants, from the south to northern sectors of Monroe County.
A group of 22 Cubans arrived in Key Largo this Wednesday from the island. The migrants declared that they left Majagua, Ciego de Ávila and Sancti Spíritus.
A video recorded last Sunday recorded the arrival of a new group at the Dry Tortugas National Park, which that same day had announced the temporary suspension of its operations due to the massive arrival of some 300 people for 48 hours.
Last Tuesday morning, a significant group of Haitian migrants also made landfall in Key Largo, in a boat with a group of approximately 130 people.
The Telemundo 51 reporter at the scene was able to verify how the large group was attended by local authorities and members of the Coast Guard and Border Patrol.
The authorities speak of a crisis due to the large number of migrants that are arriving in that area of South Florida.
The place where they were located is a residential area of Port Largo, in Key Largo, one of the Keys north of Monroe County.
Additionally, in recent days, without counting the group that arrived on Tuesday, the authorities had indicated that some 500 migrants had arrived in small boats in the Florida Keys, a wave that the local police department described on Monday as a “crisis.”
In a news release, Monroe County Police Chief Rick Ramsay criticized the federal government’s response to the surge in migrant arrivals, saying it is putting pressure on local resources. Border Patrol told the police department that the federal response to some of the migrant arrivals would have to wait a day, according to the news release.
“Refugee arrivals require a lot of police department resources in helping us provide our federal law enforcement partners to ensure migrants are healthy and safe,” said Ramsay, whose department has jurisdiction over the Florida Keys. “This shows the lack of a federal government roadmap to deal with a massive mass migration problem that was predictable.”
Dry Tortugas National Park officials anticipate that it will remain closed for several days due to the space and resources required to care for migrants. The national park is at the southern tip of the US mainland and draws scuba divers and snorkelers for its coral reefs, nesting sea turtles, tropical fish and shipwrecks.
“As in other parts of the Florida Keys, the arrival of people from Cuba by boat to the islands of the National Park has recently increased in the park,” according to a news release from the National Park Service.
Since the new fiscal year began in the United States, on October 1, some 4,200 have been detained at sea, that is, about 43 a day, according to Coast Guard figures. By comparison, 17 per day were detained in the previous fiscal year and just two per day during the 2020-2021 fiscal year.