Diaspora

135 to 150 Haitian migrants land in Upper Keys | News – KeysNews.com

While already dealing with a mass migration event in the Florida Keys that started Friday night involving Cubans, federal agents on Tuesday were processing about 135 to 150 Haitians who arrived in Key Largo on Tuesday morning.
The vessel carrying the migrants grounded inside the waters of John Pennekamp State Park shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday and the migrants jumped out and swam to shore near the Port Largo neighborhood. The group was comprised of adult men and women, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jason Rafter said. The group arrived in a large sailing ship. They were being process by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on Tuesday afternoon.
Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas remained closed Tuesday with no date set for reopening, as Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Coast Guard officials continue to process hundreds of Cuban migrants there, part of a mass migrant event that started Friday, Dec. 30.
Cuban migrants continued to arrive in the Florida Keys on Tuesday, Jan. 3, with a group of roughly 40 landing near the Marlin gas station at Mile Marker 88 in Islamorada and another large group arriving on Duck Key, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said.
Shortly before midnight on Monday, a group of 20 Cuban migrants landed near Key West International Airport on South Roosevelt Boulevard. The 16 men and four women arrived on a homemade vessel, commonly referred to as a chug, made from barrels, Key West Police Department spokeswoman Alyson Crean said.
The sheer numbers are overwhelming the Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies. The number of Cuban migrant landings in the Florida Keys has grown significantly in the past two years, with the number of people per chug or landing increasing as well.
tohara@keysnews.com
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