Tuesday, January 6, 2015

U.S. Returns 121 Cuban Migrants Intercepted at Sea Back to Cuba, No Word of Any Central Americans Returns


U.S. Repatriates 121 Cuban Migrants Intercepted at Sea

MIAMI – U.S. authorities repatriated 121 Cuban migrants who were intercepted on homemade rafts and other small boats last week in seven different operations, the Coast Guard announced Monday.

The Coast Guard said in a communique that during December 2014, 481 Cubans were picked up at sea or managed to reach U.S. territory, an increase of 117 percent over the same month in 2013.

Rear Adm. Jake Korn, the commander of the Coast Guard’s 7th District, said that people must have a visa or other official document to travel to the United States and any illegal Cuban migrant intercepted at sea will be returned to Cuba in accord with U.S. immigration law.

He also said that the recent measures taken by President Barack Obama to normalize relations with Cuba do not alter the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which – since 1966 – establishes that Cubans who illegally make it to U.S. territory may remain in the country but those intercepted at sea will be returned to Cuba.

Korn said that the law could only be changed by Congress, adding that the 121 Cuban migrants were deported to Bahia de Cabañas, in western Cuba.

Obama announced on Dec. 17 the start of a process to normalize diplomatic relations with the communist-ruled island, ties that have been broken since 1961, adding that Washington’s longstanding policy of isolating the Cuban regime had “failed.”


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