Surge in Cuban migrants heading for US

  • 07/08/2016
Migrants (file)
Migrants (file)

The US Coast Guard has repatriated 97 Cuban migrants picked up at sea, part of a surge in attempts to reach the United States from the Communist-run island, the service says.

The Cubans were sent back to the Caribbean nation last Sunday and carried aboard three cutters, the Coast Guard said in a statement on Saturday. The Cubans had been picked up in seven interdictions at sea.

"We discourage anyone from taking to the sea and attempting to reach US soil illegally - they are risking their lives with very little chance of success," said Captain Mark Gordon, chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard's 7th District.

The number of Cuban migrants trying to reach the south-eastern United State last month was 834, up from 410 in July 2015, the statement said.

Since October 1, at least 5786 Cubans have tried to migrate to the United States by sea, compared with 4473 in federal fiscal year 2015.