The U.S. Border Patrol says 25 Cuban migrants landed in Key Biscayne early Tuesday, including a little girl and one woman who officials said was pregnant. In a statement, the Border Patrol described it as a “maritime smuggling event.”
First word of the landing came from Key Biscayne police, said Chief Frank Sousa. He said a pregnant woman entered the village and asked an officer for help, and was taken to a hospital. She was the only migrant who entered the village, Sousa said. Miami-Dade police said it appeared the group was dropped off by a fishing boat around 5:30 a.m.
The larger group was taken to an area along Crandon Boulevard and initially declined any medical help. Overall, the group appeared to be in good physical condition as they sat in a grassy area and chatted near the roadway. They told reporters they were from Martín and Cárdenas, Cuba.
The law enforcement scene unfolded as a short distance away, other officers were conducting the first pilot run of a program to escort bicyclist pelotons on the Rickenbacker Causeway.
Some riders waved at the migrants, with one loudly shouting “Viva Cuba!” that prompted some smiles to ripple on the migrant’s faces. Another cyclist shouted loudly that police and news media vehicles were blocking the cyclist lane.
The number of Cubans coming to the U.S. is the highest in four decades, the New York Times reported in May citing federal figures, with many entries coming overland from Mexico after routing through Nicaragua.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.