With a staggering 725 Cuban migrants being intercepted and processed as they attempted to reach U.S. shores in 2016, the second day of the new year the trend continued as 12 Cubans were handed over to local Immigration officers on Monday and an additional 25 are expected today.
“At 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 2 the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell called in to the Lucayan Harbour and handed over to Bahamas Immigration officials 12 Cuban migrants,” Grade One Immigration Officer, Napthali Cooper told this daily.
The group, Cooper said consisted of eight males and four females.
“The migrants were all intercepted at sea in the Cay Sal Bank area in two separate incidents. They had reportedly departed Cuba about two weeks ago destined for the U.S. when they were stopped by USCG officials last Tuesday (December 27),” Cooper revealed.
The local Immigration spokesperson added that after taking custody of the migrants with the assistance of officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force Marine Division and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force, immigration officers transported the migrants to Immigration Headquarters to be further processed and examined by the medical team from the Surveillance and Infectious Disease Unit of the PHA.
“This group of migrants are expected to be flown to New Providence to be housed at the Detention Centre until repatriated to Cuba,” Cooper stated.
In addition to Monday’s start to the 2017 count, Cooper said, an additional 25 Cuban migrants are due to be brought in to the Lucayan Harbour Tuesday (January 3) and handed over to the local Immigration Department to be handled in the same fashion.
With an increase of Cuban migrants over the last year it is expected that the expensive trend of processing, flying the migrants to the capital, housing the migrants and finally repatriation of those apprehended in Bahamian waters will not cease any time soon.
Exactly one week prior, the USCG Cutter Margaret Norvell had called into the Lucayan Harbour and handed over 19 Cuban Immigrants to Bahamas Immigration officials, all having been intercepted in the Cay Sal Bank area as is most often the case.
Published Tuesday, January 3, 2017