- Ten migrants from Cuba were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard last Thursday
- The group’s boat was spotted 40 miles off the coast of Key Largo, Florida
- The makeshift vessel was taking in water and nearly sank, the Coast Guard said
- Six of the migrants were deported to Cuba on Saturday.
- A Coast Guard spokesperson told DailyMail.com that the other four individuals are in still in Florida being treated for dehydration
A group of Cuban migrants stranded in a sinking boat off the Florida coast were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard as desperate attempts by those trying to flee the Socialist-run country continue to spike.
The 10 migrants were spotted by a Coast Guard vessel about 40 miles off Key Largo on Thursday, the Coast Guard said in a tweet.
‘They didn’t have lifejackets or safety equipment,’ said Capt. Shawn Koch, commanding officer of Air Station Miami. ‘If the air crew hadn’t found them on the patrol, these people would not have survived the night.’
Six of the individuals were deported to Cuba on Saturday.
A Coast Guard spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Monday that the other four individuals are in a Florida being treated for dehydration
The spokesperson also told DailyMail.com that 698 migrants have been stopped from reaching the U.S. by sea since October 2021, the start of fiscal year 2022.
In comparison, 838 Cubans were intercepted in all of fiscal year 2021.
Their rescue comes two weeks after a boat believed to be used for human smuggling capsized off Florida’s coast en route from the Bahamas.
Only one of the 40 passengers – a Colombian national – survived.
The spike in Cubans fleeing the Communist-run island has been attributed to the scarcity of basic goods, restrictions on civil liberties and the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows encounters of Cuban migrants at the southwestern border are also on pace to eclipse the previous fiscal year’s.
At least 20,476 individuals have been stopped for illegally crossing the United States-Mexico border between October 2021 and December 2022 after U.S. Border Patrol interdicted 38,764 migrants from October 2020 to September 2021.
In the past, Cubans escaping socialist-run Caribbean island were permitted to remain in the United States under President Bill Clinton’s ‘wet foot, dry foot’ 1995 policy which revised the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act.
The legislation also afforded them the eligibility to become residents within a year.
However, President Barack Obama ended the immigration policy in January 2017, signing an executive decision that put an end the longstanding law that granted permanent residency to Cubans reaching the country.
Cubans caught in the sea by U.S. authorities are returned to Cuba or the country from where they originally departed under United States policy.