AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Agents apprehended 8 undocumented immigrants from Cuba, after they landed earlier this morning in Mona Island.
With this group a total of 47 Cuban nationals have been smuggled during the month of July into Mona Island, an uninhabited U.S. territory located approximately 42 miles west of Puerto Rico.
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 8 undocumented immigrants, all males, which claimed to be Cuban nationals.
A CBP Office of Air and Marine UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter transferred the group this morning from Mona to the Border Patrol Station in Aguadilla for immigration processing.
“Migrants continue to put their lives at unnecessary risk by venturing into Mona Island not knowing the multiple hazards within that area,” stated Ramiro Cerrillo, Ramey Sector Chief Patrol Agent. “We reiterate our warning of the perils of making such a dangerous journey.”
Smugglers in the Dominican Republic strategically navigate to and use Mona Island as a drop off point for migrants who must then be recovered from Mona and transported to Puerto Rico by CBP or USCG air or marine assets.
The Administration’s recent announcement regarding Cuba does not signify a change in the current immigration policy toward Cuba, under the 1995 amendment of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.
During this fiscal year 2015 (which runs from October 1 to September 30), the Ramey Border Patrol Sector has apprehended 488 undocumented migrants; 238 Cubans, 104 Dominicans, and 146 Haitians.
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.