Cuban migrants reach Mona Island on rubber raft


US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a public warning upon the landing on Mona Island on Wednesday of five undocumented migrants from Cuba on board a rubber raft, Caribbean News Now reports.

US Coast Guard Sector San Juan notified the Border Patrol Ramey Sector Communications Center of the arrival of five undocumented migrants, three adult men, one adult female, and one juvenile female, all claiming to be Cuban nationals. Park Rangers from the Puerto Rico Department of Environmental and Natural Resources reported that the group reached the northwestern coast of Mona on board a rubber raft.

“Crossing the Mona Passage is a treacherous voyage filled with many dangers that pose a huge risk to migrants,” stated Ramiro Cerrillo, Ramey Sector Chief Patrol Agent. ““Making this journey on a rubber raft is even more dangerous.”

The USCG transported the group to the Mayaguez Port of Entry where Border Patrol Agents from the Ramey Station took them into custody for screening and processing.

The illegal maritime smuggling ventures arriving to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic are ordinarily transported in rustic, homemade wooden vessels commonly referred to as “yolas.” A typical yola is an unsafe vessel, generally underpowered with a single outboard motor, and overloaded with a large number of passengers (as an example, a forty foot “yola” can accommodate over one hundred persons).

Every year the Ramey Border Patrol Sector receives both confirmed and unconfirmed reports of aliens drowning while in transit to the territory.

The Administration’s recent announcement regarding Cuba does not signify a change in the current immigration policy toward Cuba, under the 1995 amendment of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.

After admissibility processing at the Border Patrol Station, Cuban nationals will receive a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an Immigration Judge, for further proceedings under the Cuban Migration Agreement of 1995 and the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.

CBP maintains a robust posture regarding the enforcement of immigration laws along the nation’s borders and coastal areas.

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