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Cuban migrant crisis in Florida Keys: County police say they’re facing a “huge problem”

A group of Cubans in the Keys (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)

At the very least 500 migrants They have come in small boats Florida Keys In recent days, that is a wave The local police department called this Monday a “crisis”.

Economic crises, food shortages and inflation Cuba and other areas Caribbean They fuel the most recent wave of migration. Over the weekend, 300 migrants arrived in the sparsely populated Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) west of Key West. The park is closed So the park tweeted that police and medical personnel could evaluate migrants before taking them to Key West.

Separately, officials said 160 migrants arrived by boat to other parts of the Florida Keys over the New Year’s weekend. On Monday, two new groups of 30 migrants were spotted in the Middle Keys.

In a press release, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsey criticized the federal government’s response They say the influx of migrants is putting pressure on local resources. The Border Patrol told the police department that the federal government’s response to some migrant arrivals would have to wait a day, according to the news release.

A group of Cuban immigrants gather near a road on Duck Key Island Monday (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)
A group of Cuban immigrants gather near a road on Duck Key Island Monday (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)

“The influx of refugees The police department needs more resources in assisting our federal law enforcement partners to ensure that immigrants are healthy and safe,” said Ramsey, who has jurisdiction over the Florida Keys. “It shows the absence of a federal government road map to deal with a predictable mass migration problem.”.

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Officials at Dry Tortugas National Park expect to be closed for several days due to the space and resources needed to serve the migrants. The national park is at the southern tip of the US mainland and attracts scuba divers and snorkelers for its coral reefs, nesting sea turtles, tropical fish and shipwrecks.

“As in other parts of the Florida Keys, the park has recently seen an increase in people arriving by boat from Cuba to the Dry Tortugas National Park islands,” according to a National Park Service news release.

(Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)
(Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP)

In addition to those who arrived at the National Park over the weekend, another 160 settlers arrived in the Middle and Upper Keys. Customs and Border Protection tweeted that at least 88 of the migrants were from Cuba.

Border Patrol and Coast Guard crews are experienced patrolling South Florida and the Keys The biggest increase in boat migrations in nearly a decadeWith hundreds of interceptions in recent months, mainly from Cuba and Haiti.

(With information from AP)

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