Agency reiterates a cautionary message after last week’s shipwreck in Dominican Republic with 21 migrants
AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations and Border Patrol Agents apprehended 14 undocumented immigrants from Cuba, after they landed Tuesday in Mona Island.
Yesterday CBP issued a Spanish language warning, with the hope of dissuading ventures through the Mona Passage after a wooden vessel shipwrecked near San Pedro de Macoris in the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.
“Crossing the Mona Passage is a treacherous voyage filled with many dangers that pose a huge risk to migrants,” stated Ramiro Cerrillo, Ramey Sector Chief Patrol Agent. “We issue a concerned warning on the danger of traversing the Mona Passage with the hope of avoiding an unfortunate event like the one last week.”
Park Rangers from the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA, for its Spanish acronym) contacted the Border Patrol Station, indicating the landing of a group of undocumented immigrants, 12 males and 2 females, which claimed to be Cuban nationals.
CBP Air and Marine Operations transported the group to the Ramey station yesterday where Border Patrol Agents assumed custody for screening and processing.
"Air and Marine assets patrol the coastal areas of the island to interdict smuggling ventures and to assist those in distress,” said Johnny Morales, Director of Air Operations at the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “Reaching Mona Island is a dangerous enterprise which migrants must be aware of its dangers,”
On February 2, a group of 13 Cubans was apprehended by CBP after landing in Mona.
After admissibility processing at the Border Patrol Station, Cuban nationals will receive 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.
CBP maintains a robust posture regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws along the nation’s borders and coastal areas.
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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.