187 Cuban illegal immigrants arrested after landing in Florida

A helicopter flies off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, on August 6, 2022. This image was posted on his Twitter page at the USCG Southeast near his community Gated on the Ocean His Reef. (Courtesy of the US Coast Guard via AP)

MIAMI — U.S. immigration officials say 187 illegal Cuban immigrants have been arrested after 10 separate boats landed in the Florida Keys over the weekend.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosser posted an image of a small boat without passengers on Twitter.

A large group was seen early Sunday morning via a livestream at a buoy at Southernmost Point in Key West, the Miami Herald said.

Between October and June last year, Customs and Border Protection agents found and detained more than 1,300 Cubans who arrived in Florida.

The US Coast Guard says it has stopped about 4,000 Cubans at sea since October last year. In the past few years since “wet feet, dry feet” ended in early 2017, authorities have seen a decline in Cuban visitors to the sea. This policy allowed most Cubans who reached U.S. soil to stay.

The number of Cubans traveling by boat is just a fraction of the large wave of Cubans crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. About 155,000 people have arrived since October last year.

Cuba is experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades due to the pandemic and tightening US sanctions.

Associated Press