A Cuban Was Arrested After His Visit to ICE and His Family Fears That He Will Be Deported on a Flight From Florida

Sergio Pérez going to his appointment at ICE. (Captura/ Facebook: Javier Díaz)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 12 June 2023 – The Cuban Sergio Pérez was arrested after making what he thought was a routine visit to the office of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) last Friday. His relatives fear that he will be deported on the third flight from Florida to Havana on June 14.

Pérez told the authorities that he has no family on the Island and that in Florida he has a 10-year-old son named Yordano. “I don’t understand why they did this; they know that he has a son here, without a mother,” a family member told Univision 23 journalist Javier Díaz.

Sergio Pérez is one of the 36 Cubans who were arrested by ICE in October 2022 to be deported, but who, thanks to pressure from relatives and lawyers, was released shortly after. Last week he was arrested again, taken to Krome and then transferred to the Broward Transitional Center.

“It’s a huge blow, we’re trying to bear it,” said little Yordano, who arrived in the United States last December and was able to meet with his father Sergio Pérez. “Please don’t deport him because he’s the only family I have here.”

The United States resumed the deportation flights of Cubans on April 24. So far, it has returned 188 people to the Island. In the first days of May, the United States returned 65 migrants on the second flight from Florida. Among the group was Emir Rodríguez, 19, who lost his place at a university on the Island due to his illegal departure on a raft.

The United States Coast Guard returned 25 rafters this Sunday, including 16 men, eight women and a minor, bringing to 3,940 the number of migrants returned to the Island from different nations so far this year, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

According to official data, this is the 50th return made in 2023 by the US authorities, and the total number of returnees is 2,949. This same week, four other Cubans were deported from the Cayman Islands.

Meanwhile, in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott continues with the construction of a floating barrier in the Rio Grande, expected to be completed by the end of this month. Last Friday, he ordered the placement of four-foot-high buoys to prevent migrants from crossing the river illegally.

Abbott is investing a million dollars in this project, part of his controversial Operation Lone Star to contain the illegal passage of migrants. This is added to the barbed wire barrier that he ordered in April last year to prevent migrants from crossing the Rio Grande, among them several Cubans.

Abbott has announced six draft border security laws. One of them declares as “terrorist organizations drug cartels and criminal groups that use Cubans as coyotes to transfer migrants.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.