The Biden administration is being roundly criticized for sending 27 Cubans fleeing Communism back to the Island dictatorship. The news comes as over 350,000 other migrants from around the world are being housed by the administration or released into the U.S. after crossing the border with Mexico.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced that the Cubans were intercepted off the coast of Florida and comes amid unrest in Cuba with hundreds of thousands protesting for an end to the communist regime.
The Coast Guard intercepted one group of Cuban migrants on the afternoon of July 23 after a person reported the vessel to watchstanders of the Coast Guard Sector Key West, according to a release. The 21-foot vessel, which was seven miles south of Key West, was found to have 22 people aboard.
Crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter William Trump brought them onto the ship. The 22 migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton.
A second group of Cuban migrants were intercepted on the afternoon of July 24. A makeshift raft was reported by Coast Guard Station Islamorada to Sector Key West watchstanders.
The raft was about 15 miles offshore of Islamorada and carried five people. Boat crew from the Coast Guard Station Islamorada picked up the five people and transferred them to the Charles Sexton.
The latest two interdictions are believed to be of the first wave of migrants seeking to flee Cuba by sea since the July 11 protests—the largest seen in Cuba in decades. The Cuban regime responded to the protests with mass arrests and sent communist party militants and paramilitary forces to monitor dissidents in cities and towns across the country.
Coast Guard Sector Key West Commander Capt. Adam Chamie said in a statement that all mariners are asked to “report any possible migrant voyages to help prevent loss of life at sea,” adding, “Taking to the seas on unsafe vessels is dangerous and can result in loss of life.”
The Biden administration previously warned Cuban and Haitian migrants against sailing to the United States.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban native, said on July 13, “The time is never right to attempt migration by sea. To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking. Allow me to be clear: if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.”
Pro-democracy groups in Florida have called out the Biden adminsitration as hundreds protested in front of the White House this week.