In Florida, an influx of Cuban immigrants has closed a national park

In Florida, an influx of Cuban immigrants has closed a national park

On Monday, the US authorities announced that the Dry Tortugas National Park, a group of islands located west of Florida, will remain closed until further notice due to an increase in the number of boats coming from Cuba.

The remote area, known as historic Fort Jefferson, lies 110 kilometers west of Key West, the southernmost city in Florida, and just over 160 kilometers north of Havana, the Cuban capital.

The US service said Sunday that the park “will be temporarily closed to the public while law enforcement and medical personnel assess, process and coordinate transportation to Key West for nearly 300 immigrants who have arrived at the park in the past two days.” National parks in a press release.

“As elsewhere in the Florida Keys, the park has recently seen an increase in people arriving by boat from Cuba and disembarking on the islands of Dry Tortugas National Park,” he added.

Cuba, facing its worst economic crisis since the 1990s, saw a record number of its residents flee to the United States in 2022, although most arrived in the country by land via Mexico.

However, thousands of migrants make the perilous boat journey to Florida, many of whom are intercepted by the US Coast Guard or detained by authorities upon disembarkation.

From early October to late December 2022, the US Coast Guard detained more than 3,700 Cubans.

Dozens have died trying to cross the sea, including five in October when their boat collided with a ship manned by Cuban border guards.

Dry Tortugas National Park said that when migrants arrive, “first responders provide food, water, and basic medical care until the Department of Homeland Security arrives and takes over operations.”

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The press release specified the park’s closure for several days.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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