Cuban rafters in US waters in the last six months surpasses the 2022 record

Cuban rafters in US waters in the last six months surpasses the 2022 record

HAVANA, April 3rd  6,200 Cuban rafters intercepted in Florida waters in the last six months have already exceeded the record of 6,182 registered during the entire fiscal year 2022, according to the most recent report from the United States Coast Guard.

Attempts to reach US territory by sea continue despite the application of a humanitarian parole program that promotes legal migration.

For many, this is the only way to get to the US after the ban on irregular entries across the southern border.

The Coast Guard reported this Sunday the repatriation of 64 Cuban rafters, who usually travel the dangerous Straits of Florida in precarious boats, risking their lives on the trip.

“Anyone attempting to enter the United States illegally by sea will be rescued and repatriated and those who go ashore will be detained and processed for removal,” said Coast Guard District Seven Lt. Cmdr. John Beal.

Record arrival

A record 224,607 Cubans tried to enter US territory in the fiscal year 2022, which ended last September, according to official data.
In the same period, 6,182 Cubans were intercepted by the US Coast Guard, the highest record in six years, now surpassed in just six months.

The increase in attempted arrivals of Cubans on US coasts coincides with the application of humanitarian parole that promotes legal migration . Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Haiti, and at the same time restrict irregular entries through the land border with Mexico, the main route of entry for migrants to the US.

The arrivals of Cubans to the southern border of the United States began to fall since the expansion of the migration program in January, however, the meetings at sea and the landings continued.

The unusual arrival of hundreds of migrants in the first week of 2023 caused the closure of a natural park in South Florida.

Cuban rafters

FILE – Cuban migrants on a raft are rescued by members of the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) in Progreso, Yucatan state, in this July 2015 photo.

Authorities in the Florida Keys declared themselves overwhelmed and without resources to care for so many people. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis activated the state National Guard to help manage the huge flow of migrants, in a move criticized by the White House as a “political maneuver.”

Shortly after, the US Coast Guard announced that it had repatriated some 991 migrants from Cuba and Haiti in ten days, in addition to thwarting the illegal landing of another 237 rafters.

The arrival of Cuban migrants skyrocketed in 2022 due to the worsening of the political and economic crisis on the island.