CBP Detains Cuban and Dominican Aliens Rescued by Coast Guard from a Treacherous Island
Aguadilla, Puerto Rico - Federal law enforcement authorities under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) retrieved and detained late yesterday 9 undocumented aliens from treacherous Monito Island, between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol agents took custody in the early evening of eight undocumented Cuban Nationals and one Dominican Republic National that were left at Monito island.
The crew of U.S. Coast Guard cutter Sapelo safely transferred the nine migrants (seven males and two females) from Monito to the Mayaguez port of entry on the western coast of Puerto Rico for processing.
Ramey Sector Border Patrol agents processed the Cuban aliens under the "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" policy; a 1994 amendment of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. The Dominican National was processed for Expedited Removal.
Mona and Monito islands are both part of a natural reserve between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, with very inhospitable terrain, where this past February a Cuban alien drowned trapped below the island's cliff waterline unable to reach safety.
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.
CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.
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.