Border Patrol Apprehends Over 100 Cuban Illegal Aliens in Florida

Border Patrol Apprehends Over 100 Cuban Illegal Aliens in Florida
A Coast Guard Station Key West boat crew on scene with a 21-foot vessel with 22 people aboard approximately seven miles south of Key West, Fla., on July 23, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary)
Naveen Athrappully

Over 100 illegal immigrants from Cuba were apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents, after several vessels made landfall in South Florida during the Labor Day weekend.

On Saturday, 45 Cuban illegal immigrants were taken into custody after they arrived on a fishing vessel in Marquesas Keys, according to a Sept. 3 Twitter post by Walter Slosar, chief patrol agent of the Miami sector. The illegal immigrants were stranded on an uninhabited island when they were taken in by the officers.

Officials apprehended 42 more Cuban illegal aliens the following day, half of whom made landfall in Islamorada, while the other half arrived in Florida Keys.

On Monday, Haulover Beach saw 15 illegal immigrants from Cuba—including 13 males and two females—being taken into custody by Border Patrol agents.

The arrests come as there has been an uptick in Cubans trying to illegally enter the United States following unrest in their home country.

According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there have been 177,848 nationwide encounters with Cuban illegal immigrants as of July this fiscal year.

This is a massive increase compared to 39,303 encounters in the entirety of fiscal 2021, and 14,015 encounters during fiscal 2020.

In a Sept. 5 press release, the U.S. Coast Guard announced repatriating 163 Cubans back to their nation. Since Oct. 1, 2021, the Coast Guard has interdicted 5,154 Cubans so far this year, compared to just 838 in fiscal 2021 and 49 in 2020.
“Coast Guard and our partners are committed to stopping illegal ventures, preventing unsafe voyages at sea, and enforcing U.S. immigration laws and regulations,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Estrada, Coast Guard District Seven, according to the release. “Those rescued or stopped at sea will be repatriated back to their country of origin.”

Migrant Deaths

While overall illegal immigration numbers have seen an increase, so has the number of deaths of such immigrants.
In an interview with WPLG, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson revealed that at least 61 illegal immigrants have lost their lives at sea, which he claims is higher than what the agency has seen in the past few decades.

Earlier this month, the capsizing of a boat believed to contain Cuban illegal immigrants led to the death of at least two people. In June, at least 50 illegal immigrants stuck inside a semi-trailer in San Antonio died, one of the deadliest human trafficking incidents in recent American history.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador blamed a lack of controls on and inside the U.S. border for the deaths. In a June 28 Twitter post, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blamed the Biden administration’s border policies for the tragedy.

“These deaths are on Biden. They are a result of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law,” Abbott said.

Mexican officials found two buses carrying around 180 migrants in the state of Veracruz on Sept. 5. Multiple people were arrested over the incident. Just a few days earlier, nine people had died while trying to cross the Rio Grande River into Texas.