U. S. Border Patrol agents say they have taken into custody hundreds of Cuban migrants fleeing political persecution and poverty after multiple boats landed across the Florida Keys over the weekend.
As of Sunday afternoon, the largest landing was a group of 51 people who arrived at the historic Southernmost Point buoy in Key West earlier in the morning, said Adam Hoffner, division chief for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Miami operations. The exact time of arrival wasn’t immediately known, but dozens of men, women and children started congregating by the buoy around 4 a.m., a livestream of the area shows.
Agents were also busy responding to at least nine other landings between Saturday and Sunday up throughout the archipelago, Border Patrol Chief Agent Walter N. Slosar said on Twitter. Law enforcement agencies have detained at least 187 Cubans over the weekend, Slosar noted.
Over the past week, 470 people from Cuba and Haiti had reached the Keys.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection tallies the number of migrants detained by fiscal year, which begins in October and ends in September of the next year. The number of Cuban migrants apprehended on South Florida soil from October to June is 1,370, nearly five times of those detained during the same period last fiscal year when 278 were taken into custody.