United States Repatriates Another 82 Cuban Rafters Who Will Not be Eligible for the New Permit

Four Cuban rafters in a rustic boat whose journey was thwarted when they were detained by the US Coast Guard. (Twitter/@USCGSoutheast)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 17 January 2022 — With the image of four rafters on some logs mounted on Styrofoam plates, the United States Coast Guard reported on Monday the repatriation of 82 people to the island on the ship Angela McShan. Cubans who are caught in an illegal attempt to reach Florida will be expelled and as a consequence “will not be eligible for other immigration options,” Rear Admiral Brendan McPherson stated.

The group was delivered to the port of Orozco, in Bahía Honda, Artemisa province. According to the Ministry of the Interior, this is the seventh “joint operation with the US so far this year.” In total there are 1,052 Cubans who have seen their American dream frustrated.

From the ship Angela McShan, 13 women and 69 men disembarked. The US authorities detailed that the Cubans are part of 13 interceptions carried out by air and sea in the first 10 days of January.

The commander of the Coast Guard, Jorge Valente, reiterated to the rafters, as usual in these cases, to refrain from making trips in rustic boats and stressed through a statement that “the White House and the Department of Homeland Security announced new legal routes to enter the United States.

The new US immigration program facilitates the granting of up to 30,000 temporary permits each month to Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians, and Venezuelans, but it will also deport nationals and others in an illegal situation.

Those applying for humanitarian parole must have a sponsor or family member who is legally residing in the US and must pass a strict background check. The beneficiaries will be able to stay legally for two years in US territory and request a temporary work permit. It is estimated that 360,000 people from those four countries could legally enter the United States within a year.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) noted that since August of last year more than 5,200 migrants arrived in 306 rafts. To increase surveillance and prevent the disembarkation of more rafters, the National Guard has been mobilized.

As part of these operations, this Tuesday the Coast Guard reported that 32 rafters were transferred by the ship Manowar to the Bahamas, in response to two interceptions of people smuggling off Miami. “Do not pay smugglers to enter the United States illegally,” the agency warned on its social networks. Coyotes “don’t care if you live or die.”

Since October 1, 2022, the Coast Guard has cut short the crossing of 4,917 Cubans.

The journey of nationals from the Island also continues unstoppable by land. In Nueva Laredo, Tamaulipas (Mexico), 14 Cubans were detained for hiding in a warehouse waiting for a coyote to take them across the Rio Grande. In this place there were also 21 migrants from Guatemala, 13 from Honduras, 10 from El Salvador, seven from Ecuador and four from Nicaragua. Migration took charge of the detainees to define their situation.


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