Thirteen Cuban migrants trying to reach U.S. shores were picked up by federal immigration authorities Wednesday just off the Dania Beach pier in Broward, a once common sight that during the last few months has become something of a novelty.
The immigrants were transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard cutter for medical treatment for dehydration — and, in all probability, a trip back to Cuba — as a small crowd watched from shore.
In January, during the waning hours of the Obama administration, the U.S. policy that granted entry to any Cuban who reached American soil — known as wet foot, dry-foot — was ended. And since then, U.S.-bound Cuban migrants have virtually disappeared from the Florida Straits. Some 5,000 were apprehended during 2016; but in April, for the first time in seven years, the U.S. Coast Guard didn’t catch a single vessel.
The migrants stopped about a mile of the pier on Wednesday about, 9:40 a.m. were in a small blue sailboat with the words Dios delante — roughly translated to “God ahead” — lettered on the side. The sailboat was stopped by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection boat, and the migrants were loaded aboard a Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue vessel for transfer to the Coast Guard cutter.
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