14ymedio/EFE, Havana, December 23, 2022 — The Border Patrol took into custody this Thursday 175 Cubans who disembarked in the last 24 hours in the Florida Keys and Hollywood Beach. The chief officer of the Miami sector, Walter Slosar, affirmed that all the rafters were fine and will continue to be processed while under investigation.
Island nationals who manage to disembark in Florida are detained and taken to immigration stations where they are given the opportunity to demonstrate “credible fear.” If they convince the judge, they can post a bond and apply for asylum. In the best of cases, they are released and given a document that legalizes their entry into the country.
Last Monday, Mr. Slosar shared on his social networks images of four rafts in which 98 Cubans disembarked in the Florida Keys and Key Biscayne, who were helped by the Coast Guard and then placed under investigation.
The exodus of rafters is alarming, this Friday the interception of an “overloaded” rustic raft with 20 Cubans south of Key Largo was divulged. The authorities reiterated that they “continue to advise against these unsafe” and dangerous trips. These individuals will be repatriated in the coming days.
A day earlier, the US Coast Guard repatriated 67 people to Cuba on the ship Charles David Jr. The captain insisted on the uncertainty of the sea, and that this month, in addition, “the winter weather is unpredictable in the Florida Straits.”
Since October 1, 2022, Coast Guard crews have prevented 3,724 individuals from reaching for the American dream.
The Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also alerted on its social networks about “extremely cold temperatures, below the freezing point” along the border of Mexico and the United States during the next week. It advised migrants not to try to cross the Rio Grande to avoid tragedies.
The warning comes as much of the United States prepares for a major “freak” winter storm, “once in a generation,” as the National Weather Service (NWS) has described it.
ALERTA: Se esperan temperaturas extremadamente frías, bajo cero, a lo largo de la frontera de México y EU durante la próxima semana. No arriesgue su vida ni la de su familia cruzando el Río Bravo o el desierto. Quédese en casa o en un refugio seguro y evite una tragedia. pic.twitter.com/IkJudqQacO
— CBP (@CBP) December 23, 2022
ALERT: Extremely cold temperatures, below freezing, are expected along the US-Mexico border during the next week. Do not risk your life or that of your family crossing the Rio Grande or the desert. Stay home or in a safe shelter and avoid a tragedy. pic.twitter.com/IkJudqQacO
— CBP (@CBP) December 23, 2022
The weather phenomenon will range from the northern Great Basin – a hydrographic area that includes Nevada, part of Utah and California, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming – to the northern Midwest, the Great Lakes and the central and northern Appalachians.
President Joe Biden warned Americans on Thursday to take the storm “extremely seriously” and to follow the recommendations of the authorities.
“This is really a very severe weather alert. And it goes from Oklahoma to Wyoming, and from Wyoming to Maine. And there are real consequences, so I encourage everyone to please follow local advisories,” he told reporters at the Oval Office of the White House.
Translated by Wilfredo Diaz Echevarria
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 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.