(PatriotWise.com) – On Monday, the local sheriff’s office referred to the recent arrival of at least 500 migrants in small boats along the Florida Keys as a “crisis.”
The most recent wave of migration is prompted by economic unrest, food shortages, and skyrocketing inflation in Cuba and other Caribbean nations.
About 70 miles west of Key West in the sparsely populated Dry Tortugas National Park, 300 migrants arrived over the weekend.
Over the New Year’s Day weekend, 160 migrants arrived by boat in other areas of the Florida Keys, according to officials. Thirty individuals from two new groups of migrants were discovered in the Middle Keys on Monday.
The park tweeted that it was closed so law enforcement and medical professionals could assess the group before transporting them to Key West.
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay criticized the federal response to the increase in migrant arrivals in a news release, claiming that it was taxing local resources.
According to the news release, U.S. Border Patrol informed the sheriff’s office that the federal response to some arriving migrants might have to wait a day. Ramsay, whose office’s jurisdiction includes the Florida Keys, stated that the arrival of refugees requires a lot of resources from the Sheriff’s Office as we help our federal law enforcement partners ensure the migrants are in good health and are safe.
“This demonstrates a lack of a working strategy by the federal government to deal with a foreseeable mass migration issue,” he said.
Due to the amount of space and supplies required to care for the migrants, officials at Dry Tortugas National Park predicted that the park would need to be closed for several days.
The national park, located at the southernmost point of the continental United States, draws snorkelers and scuba divers with its coral reefs, sea turtle nesting grounds, tropical fish, and shipwrecks.
Over the weekend, 160 additional migrants arrived in the Middle and Upper Keys, in addition to those who arrived at the national park. According to a tweet from US Customs and Border Protection, at least 88 migrants are from Cuba.
The number of boat interceptions by U.S. Border Patrol and Coast Guard crews patrolling South Florida and the Keys has increased to their highest level in nearly ten years, with hundreds of people, mainly from Cuba and Haiti, being stopped in recent months.
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