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49 Cubans reach dangerous Mona & Monito islands over January’s first 2 weekends

Release Date: 
January 9, 2017

CBP warns of danger of crossing due to high tides

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued today a concerned public warning to the dangers of crossing the Mona Passage after 49 undocumented migrants from Cuba have reached Mona and Monito islands, over the New Year and Three Kings holiday weekends.  

Smugglers leave migrants in the dangerous and shore-less Monito Island
Smugglers leave migrants in the
dangerous and shore-less Monito Island

“Seasonal high tides and rip currents make a voyage across the Mona Passage on board a makeshift wooden vessel extremely dangerous,” stated Ramiro Cerrillo, Chief Patrol Agent for the Ramey Border Patrol Sector.  “Migrants continue to place themselves at the mercy of smugglers who have complete disregard for their safety and leave them within the shores of Mona, and especially Monito knowing the dangers involved.”

Today a US Coast Guard cutter transported 33 undocumented Cuban migrants (23 males, 10 females) to the Mayaguez Port by where Border Patrol Agents took custody of the group for federal immigration processing.  Within the group a 4 year old female was found.

During the first weekend of the New Year, combined law enforcement assets under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) rescued 16 undocumented migrants from Cuba (9 females, 7 males). 

Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents apprehended 694 migrants in Fiscal Year 2016 (from October 1 to September 30), of which 395 were Cuban migrants. 

CBP maintains a strong position regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws along the country's borders and coastal areas.

After admissibility processing at the Border Patrol Station, Cuban nationals received a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an Immigration Judge, for further proceedings under the Cuban Migration Agreement of 1995 and the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021