The wave of migrants traversing open seas to Florida found the Key Biscayne area on Saturday after a human smuggling boat was intercepted Saturday just off the island.
Details remain sketchy but U.S. Border Patrol in a tweet said 13 migrants were taken into custody. They were from Cuba, China, Ecuador, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
Residents noticed police activity around Bear Cut Bridge on Saturday morning with Miami-Dade and Key Biscayne police assisting.
The Border Patrol stated the incident remains under investigation. The agency has said that it has experienced the largest escalation of migrants by boat in nearly a decade.
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Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier declared a State of Emergency in response to the surge in migration along Florida’s coastline, saying in a news release last month that 11,000 immigrants have been repatriated but did not give a time frame for the interdictions.
He has blamed the Biden Administration for the influx and Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsey has said there has been a lack of federal plan to deal with the crisis.
DeSantis has commissioned a cruise ship to house a state army of employees to handle the migrant surge as part of a $20 million he allocated to address the problem.
Economic turmoil, food shortages and soaring inflation in the Caribbean is the driving force, officials have said. Most of the migrants have come from Cuba or Haiti.
JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV. You can reach him at [email protected]