Obama's Cuba Policy Creating A Surge Of Cuban Migrants

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
From NPR:

Improved U.S.-Cuba Relations Are Creating A Surge Of Cuban Migrants

U.S. Coast Guard vessels in Key West, Fla. Most of their resources in Key West are devoted to interdicting Cuban migrants. Cubans are trying to reach the U.S. in larger numbers, concerned that preferential treatment will disappear as the two countries normalize relations.

You might assume that with the thawing of relations between Cuba and the U.S., Cubans would see positive change at home, and less reason to attempt the perilous water crossing to Florida. You'd assume wrong.

U.S. law enforcement authorities are confronting a surge of Cuban migrants trying to make the journey by boat across the Florida Straits; it's the highest numbers they've seen in two decades.

"It's gotten busier and busier," says U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jeff Janszen, commander of sector Key West, Fla.

Over the past fiscal year, the Coast Guard intercepted 5,396 Cuban migrants who were attempting the crossing. That's nearly twice the number from the previous year. About 1,000 Cubans managed to evade detection and make it to U.S. shores.