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  1. #1
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    41 Immigrants Land on Dade Beach for Real

    I mentioned on another posting regarding Cubans arriving on a South Florida Beach early this morning despite the exercises by Homeland Security and other agencies. When I added it to a posting regarding the exercises by multiple agencies it was several hours after it occurred in my district and I heard it all on the police radio. I now have a article from the Sun Sentinel regarding several similar situations. It does not go in specifics but I know 19 landed in my district and Homeland Security was notified by the police as an officer asked the dispatcher for the phone number.

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/ ... -headlines


    Mass-migration drill gets real when 41 immigrants land on Dade beach

    By LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ
    Associated Press
    Posted March 8 2007, 3:40 PM EST


    OFF THE SOUTH FLORIDA COAST -- Federal and local law enforcement agents wrapped up a two-day exercise Thursday simulating a possible mass exodus from Cuba after Fidel Castro's death, but exile leaders and Cuba experts said such a scenario is unlikely.

    During one simulation, nearly a dozen government vessels maneuvered past cargo, cruise and fishing boats three miles off the Fort Lauderdale coast to apprehend a 26-foot boat carrying mock smugglers who were supposed to be armed and headed to Cuba to pick up migrants.

    That simulation began just hours after a real U.S. Border Patrol mission picked up more than 40 Spanish-speaking migrants who happened to arrive Thursday morning along Miami-Dade beaches. Arrivals like those occur frequently in South Florida, the majority of them from Cuba.

    Still Cuba experts said they don't expect massive waves of migrants like 1980's Mariel boatlift _ even after the death of Castro, who transferred power to his brother Raul last July because of ill health. More than 124,000 people were stopped at sea in a six-month period during the Mariel crisis, which was triggered when Castro said anyone who wanted to leave the communist island could.

    ``Forget it. It ain't gonna happen,'' said Jaime Suchliki, a University of Miami professor and the author of ``Cuba from Columbus to Castro.''

    ``Raul would have to say 'Anyone who wants to go, go,''' Suchliki said, and such a move would destabilize the Cuban government and cause another major crisis with the U.S. Raul Castro wants neither.

    He added that there are not enough vessels in the region to transport half a million people out of Cuba. A more likely scenario would be thousands attempting to get into the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Suchliki said. ``What would the U.S. do in that scenario?''

    But he acknowledged the training serves as a deterrent and officials have to be prepared, especially if there were a civil war, epidemic or hurricane in Cuba or another Caribbean nation, such as long-troubled Haiti.

    Cuban activist Ramon Saul Sanchez, head of the anti-Castro group Democracy Movement, said he thought the focus on mass migration was overblown.

    ``I don't think there's going to be a mass migration to the U.S. because if there is a total breakdown of the Cuban government, people will see the possibility of a democracy and freedom much closer _ in their own country. They are coming here because of the tyranny,'' Sanchez said.

    Sanchez, who took to the seas to rescue Cuban rafters during a smaller migration crisis in 1994, said he was concerned that the U.S. government might stop exiles from simply attempting to bring humanitarian aid to the island during a change in government.

    U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Steve McDonald agreed there is no immediate threat of mass migration but stressed the need to train anyway.

    ``We as public officials have an obligation to be prepared, and the only we way we can do that for something this complicated is to test our communication systems before the event,'' he said.

    Under Thursday's mock smuggling exercise, in which reporters were permitted to ride along, the script began with a mock 911 call to the Broward County Sheriff's Office that armed boaters were headed south to Cuba. Sheriff's deputies were to alert federal, state and other local officials who were in the area and could respond.

    By 10:30 a.m. nearly a dozen boats from the Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and local law enforcement, as well as two helicopters, trailed a 26-foot ``smuggling'' craft, flashing their lights and ordering the boat to stop.

    Agents did not attempt to board the smuggling vessel because of choppy seas, nor did they attempt to snare or disable it so as not to give away tactics, said Customs and Border spokesman Zachary Mann.

    ``The reality is we have the assets and the manpower. If we have to make that stop, we will make that stop,'' he said.

    Authorities said they were pleased with the exercises but planned to review the training and make necessary adjustments. The need for a few tweaks to the plan quickly became clear after authorities created brief chaos by declining to choose the media outlets for the ride-along, urging dozens of members of the press to decide among themselves. Also, while Thursday's show of force was aimed at deterring mostly Cuban smugglers and migrants, officials failed to provide fluent Spanish-speakers for the large number of Spanish-language media that attended the ride-along.

    The training marked the largest such exercise since a 2003 presidential directive created the Homeland Security Task Force Southeast to better police the nation's southeastern borders
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  2. #2
    Senior Member cvangel's Avatar
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    We need to stop this madness too. What a ridiculous policy to allow these people to stay if they're able to touch our shores.

  3. #3
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    I agree. In the past they were presecuted but aren't anymore. Many times in the news you hear about how same of them had made 5 or 7 attempts. If that is true than it clearly shows that they aren't even being punished for trying to flee. Therefore that policy should be thrown out as it discriminates against others who also would like their family members to join them and need to wait 5 to 7 years to be able to do so.
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