CBP apprehends 29 undocumented Cuban and Dominican Republic migrants

May 24, 2016

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Agents apprehended between Sunday and Monday 29 undocumented migrants, 28 from Cuba and one from the Dominican Republic, after landing in various incidents in Mona Island and in the islands’ northern coast.

“CBP continues to promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Cuba under our Migration Accords and deter dangerous and illegal migration from Cuba,” stated Ramiro Cerrillo, Ramey Sector Chief Patrol Agent. ““We issue a concerned warning on the danger of traversing the Mona Passage with the hope of avoiding an unfortunate event.”

An AMO blackhawk in Mona Island preparing for migrant transport.

On Monday, Park Rangers from the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), on Mona Island, reported the presence of 16 undocumented migrants (12 males & 4 females) claiming to be Cuban nationals that had landed near 1:00 a.m. near Playa Sardineras.

A CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Blackhawk helicopter transported 1 male to the Mayaguez Medical Center after an AMO EMT initially treated them for allergic reactions. AMO transported the remaining 15 to Aguadilla where Border Patrol assumed custody for immigration processing.

Early Sunday afternoon, the Camuy Station of the Puerto Rico Police Department contacted the Ramey Border Patrol Station notifying the landing of migrants near an area known as “El Potrero.”

Border Patrol Agents reached the area locating a homemade fiberglass and wood vessel, approximately 20 ft. in length, white and red in color that had been abandoned on the shore.

After conducting an extensive search of the area along with Operation Stonegarden partners, arrested a total of three aliens, one (1) female from the Dominican Republic, one (1) female and one (1) male from Cuba.

The two Cuban nationals were taken to Quebradillas Medical Center, where they were treated for dehydration.

Late Sunday afternoon, Park Rangers stationed in Mona Island, contacted the Ramey Border Patrol Station notifying that seven adult males and three adult females, claiming to be Cuban nationals, made landfall.

A United States Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter transported the group to Aguadilla for screening and processing.

During the FY 2016, the Ramey Border Patrol Sector has apprehended 190 Cuban migrants.

The Administration has no plans to change the current immigration policy toward Cuba or seek legislative changes in relation to the Cuban Adjustment Act.

CBP maintains a strong position regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws along the country's borders and coastal areas.

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.

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.