Massive wave of migration in South Florida exceeds a thousand in three days

(Update with transfer of migrants from Dry Tortugas to Key West, Florida)

Miami, Jan 5 A United States Coast Guard ship transferred this Thursday the migrants who remained in Dry Tortugas National Park, 337 in total, to Key West, in the extreme south of Florida, the same day that the president, Joe Biden, alerted on the expulsion of migrants who enter the country irregularly.

The US Department of Homeland Security reported on Twitter that the 337 immigrants transferred from Dry Tortuga, a remote National Park located in the Gulf of Mexico and whose island closed on January 2 due to the massive arrival of migrants, did not includes another group of 90 previously transferred by the Coast Guard.


The massive arrival of undocumented immigrants on boats to South Florida is causing a humanitarian crisis that has forced the authorities to channel resources to attend to at least 690 who arrived in the Florida Keys between Friday and Monday alone, according to the federal authorities.

To these immigrants are added some 606 more who have been intercepted at sea by immigration authorities, according to figures released by the Southeast Homeland Security Task Force (HSTF-SE).

The arrival of 364 migrants at the Dry Tortugas National Park over the weekend forced its temporary closure in the middle of the holiday season in order to facilitate the rescue efforts of these people stranded on the islets.

The immigrants, mostly Cubans and Haitians, have arrived in multiple and precarious boats to various islands in the Florida Keys archipelago, in Monroe County, in the southern tip of the United States.

To those from Dry Tortugas are added another 326 migrants, according to HSTF-SE, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay told the Fox channel that being a rural region they are dealing with what he considers a massive migration.

“I have to draw resources all day to respond to arrivals,” he lamented.

As the arrival of rafters continues, the authorities continue with the repatriations and insist that the border is not open and that those who are intercepted will be returned to their countries.

“The southeast maritime border is not open,” insisted Rear Admiral Brendan C. McPherson, commander of the Coast Guard’s 7th District and director of HSTF-SE.

McPherson said they will be provided with food, water and basic first aid before being transferred to federal immigration agents in the Florida Keys.

Walter N. Slosar, chief of the Miami Sector of the Border Patrol (CBP), said in a recent statement that since October 1, 2022 this sector has experienced a 400% increase in people who arrive by sea and are detained upon disembarking. .

So far this fiscal year 2023, that is, since last October 1, the Coast Guard has intercepted 3,839 Cubans at sea, a significant escalation of arrests compared to the 838 intercepted in the entire fiscal year of 2021 and the 6,182 in 2022.

According to figures provided by the US authorities, in fiscal year 2020 there were only 49 Cuban immigrants intercepted, and in 2018 the number reached 259, while in 2017 and 2016 1,468 and 5,396 Cubans were intercepted at sea, respectively.

For his part, President Biden assured this Thursday that Mexico has agreed to admit 30,000 immigrants a month from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti who are expelled from US territory for crossing the border irregularly.

This agreement is part of the announcement made this Thursday by the US government to include Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians in the immigration program applied to Venezuelans up to now.

“My message is this: If you are trying to leave Cuba, Nicaragua or Haiti, do not show up at the border. Stay where you are and apply legally,” Biden said. EFE


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