ST. CROIX, U.S. VIGIN ISLANDS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers took custody Wednesday evening of 35 Cuban migrants that allegedly landed in Coakley Bay, in the northern coast of St. Croix.
Virgin Islands Police notified CBP officers at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, reaching Coakley Bay where they found a group of 13 females, 21 males and 1 minor, all in good health.
The group was transported to the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport for immigration processing the group under the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy; a 1994 amendment of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.
“Migrant smuggling ventures at sea place many vulnerable people in harm’s way, and fortunately these folks were lucky,” said Marcelino Borges, director of field operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Our goal remains to arrest and obtain a conviction against smugglers who violate our laws.”
Last Friday two Haitian migrants died attempting to reach the island of Mona between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, while smuggling by sea accounts only for a small portion of overall migrant smuggling around the world, the particular dangers of irregular travel at sea make it a priority for response; due to the reported fact that more deaths occur by sea.
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.