The crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton and Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr. repatriated 108 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Sunday, November 30.
These repatriations are a result of seven separate interdictions at sea in the south Florida Straits.
These were interdictions of Cuban nationals attempting to illegally enter the United States on unseaworthy vessels commonly referred to as “rustics” or “chugs.”
The Coast Guard and partner agencies aggressively patrol the Florida Straits to detect and deter illegal and unsafe maritime migration with safety of life at sea as one of the priorities.
Capt. Mark Fedor, the chief of response for the Coast Guard’s 7th District, said:
U.S. immigration policies have not changed and we urge people not to take to the ocean in unseaworthy vessels. It is illegal and extremely dangerous. Once migrants are interdicted at sea, they will be returned to their country of origin.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
So far in fiscal year 2016, 915 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the U.S. via the sea. These numbers represent the total amount of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.