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Border Patrol reported 500% increase in apprehensions in Miami sector during fiscal 2022

Majority of illegal aliens apprehended in region were Cubans.

Published: December 24, 2022 9:39am

Updated: December 25, 2022 11:35pm

(The Center Square) -

Border Patrol agents in the Miami Sector have reported a 500% increase in apprehensions in fiscal year 2022.

From Sept. 1, 2021, to Oct. 31, 2022, agents apprehended 2,350 foreign nationals attempting to illegally enter Florida by sea. The majority were Cubans.

They also interdicted 131 maritime smuggling events, a 330% increase from fuiscal 2921, Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar said.

The numbers continue to climb.

According to preliminary data obtained by The Center Square from a Border Patrol agent, apprehensions in the first three weeks of December alone are on track to break records for the Miami Sector – and are already nearly half of apprehensions for the entire fiscal 2022.

For the first three weeks in December, Miami Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 1,008 illegal foreign nationals and reported 20 gotaways. Gotaways is the term used by agents to describe those who evade capture from law enforcement who don’t surrender at ports of entry or make immigration or asylum claims. Agents also recovered the bodies of 13 dead foreign nationals over this time period.

Days before Christmas and with a cold front coming in, BP agents continued to thwart illegal entry in Florida.

Slosar said thius week that agents took into custody 175 Cubans within 24 hours.

They responded to calls and received support from federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to apprehend Cubans in the Florida Keys and at Hollywood Beach after they’d arrived in makeshift boats comprised of sheets of metal and crudely made motors.

Miami Sector BP agents also interdicted a human smuggling attempt earlier this month.

On Dec. 9, working with law enforcement partners, BP agents apprehended smugglers after encountering 13 people being brought into Florida illegally from Romania, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago. Homeland Security investigators from Miami are investigating the incident.

The U.S. Coast Guard also continues to apprehend a record number of Cubans at sea. As of Dec. 10, since Oct. 1, 2022, crews apprehended 2,723 Cubans.

That’s after they apprehended a record 6,182 in fiscal 2022 compared to apprehending 49 in fiscal 2020, according to Coast Guard data.

Their efforts also continued before Christmas. On Dec. 21, U.S. Coast Guard Station Marathon and Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge crews apprehended three men in Big Pine Key. The men appeared to have rowed from Cuba using paddles in a contraption made of inflated materials tied together with rope.

The Coast Guard and U.S. Embassy in Cuba are regularly warning Cubans to not travel to Florida by ocean, warning they will be apprehended and repatriated if they do.

One warning states in Spanish: “No Ponga En Peligro A Usted Ni A Su Familia,” (don’t endanger you or your family). It also warns of “el mal tiempo, las tormentas, rocas debajo del mar, la falta de visibilidad por niebla and las corrientes de resaca,” meaning they could encounter bad weather, storms, rocks under the sea, lack of visibility due to fog, and rip currents.

Another warns: “Los cielos azules se convierten en tormentas; botes improvisados se hunden; incluso los nadadores fuertes se cansan. Demasiados migrantes arriesgan sus vidas solo para morir en el mar.”

It means, “Blue skies become storms; makeshift boats sink; Even strong swimmers get tired. Too many migrants risk their lives only to die at sea.”

The Coast Guard also warns, “Those stopped at sea will be repatriated to their country of origin or departure."

Everyone who is apprehended is given food, water, shelter and medical attention if needed, the Coast Guard says, before they are processed for repatriation. The Coast Guard encourages individuals and family members already living in the U.S. who are concerned about possible relatives interdicted at sea to contact their local U.S. representative.

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