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Arrests of Cuban Migrants in Florida Total 69 in Recent Days

© AP Photo / US Coast GuardCuban migrants
Cuban migrants - Sputnik International
A total of 69 Cuban refugees have been captured recently in Florida, following a string of landings on the state’s coasts and at a park on a nearby island, US Customs and Border Protection announced in a press release on Friday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – On Tuesday, the agency’s Border Patrol police force detained 13 Cubans at a state park on Long Key. Another 56 migrants were arrested during a series of landings along the southern Florida coast during the previous week, the release said.

The Border Patrol "has observed a steady increase in maritime illegal immigration and drug-smuggling attempts over the past year up and down Florida’s coastline," Miami Sector Division Chief Todd Bryant said in the release. "The focus is to stop smuggling by prosecuting smugglers and dismantling transnational criminal organizations."

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After administrative processing, the migrants will receive a notice to appear before an immigration judge.

Cuban refugees enjoy a unique status under US law in that they are usually allowed to remain in the United States if they set foot on land. If interdicted at sea, they are immediately returned to the Caribbean island.

The flow of refugees has increased since US President Barack Obama restored diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana in 2015.

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