Headlines have been generated by recent attempts by Cubans to enter the United States by sea; however, there has been an even larger spike in illegal immigration attempts by Haitians and many other islanders from the Caribbean. While Cubans get legal residency if they hit US soil, others will be taken into custody and deported.
The Coast Guard says that at least 3,940 Cubans, 5,585 Haitians and hundreds of others from Caribbean countries such as the Dominican Republic were either chased away, intercepted or captured by US authorities while trying to illegally enter the country in the 2014 fiscal year. This represents a rise of more than 3,000 on the previous year and the largest amount of immigrants from Haiti and Cuba in five and six years respectively. There are no records on how many successfully sneak into the US, or how many lose their lives in the attempt.
In the current fiscal year, which commenced on October 1st 2014, over 1,920 undocumented immigrants have already been apprehended and the Coast Guard fears that that number is going to keep rising after the recent alterations to the immigration system in the United States. “The Coast Guard strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea,” says the spokesman for the Miami Coast Guard’s 7th District, Lt Commander Gabe Somma. “These trips are extremely dangerous. Individuals located at sea may be returned to Cuba.”