23 Cuban nationals aboard disabled vessel being processed for expedited removal
MOBILE, Ala. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) received 23 Cuban nationals rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard in the Gulf of Mexico more than 100 miles north of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico on Sunday.
The individuals had been adrift for three days aboard a disabled sports fisher before being found by the Coast Guard and transferred to the Carnival Cruise Line Fantasy. CBP was notified of the disabled boat, and an Air and Marine Operations (AMO) vessel accompanied the cruise ship to the Port of Mobile, arriving at approximately 10 a.m. Monday morning and met by CBP Mobile officers, U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents, Homeland Security Investigations, (HSI), Coast Guard Investigations, and the FBI.
All 23 individuals were transferred to the USBP station in Mobile for questioning by HSI and the Border Enforcement Security Task Force. The interviewers determined the castaways to be Cuban nationals, but there was no evidence of human smuggling so they were processed for expedited removal and are being held in the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, pending removal. The incident remains under investigation.
The Area Port of Mobile is one of three Area Ports under CBP Office of Field Operations, New Orleans, LA, along with Area Port of Memphis and the Area Port of New Orleans, and oversees ports of entry in the states of Mississippi and Alabama. CBP New Orleans oversees 18 Ports of Entry in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas with a domestic contribution of more than $200 Billion to the U.S. economy. To keep up with the latest news at CBP New Orleans, visit our Twitter page at @CBPSoutheast.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.