KEY WEST, Fla. – Four migrants who are believed to have originated from Cuba were taken into custody Thursday afternoon after coming ashore in the Florida Keys, authorities confirmed.
According to U.S. Border Patrol officials, the migrants came ashore in Key West via a wooden fishing boat.
The migrants are expected to be repatriated to Cuba.
No other details were immediately released.
Thursday’s arrival comes shortly after Local 10 News reporter Christina Vazquez interviewed U.S. Border Patrol’s new chief patrol agent, Walter “Neil” Slosar, who has vowed to crack down on human smugglers.
“The criminal organizations that overload these vessels sacrifice the safety of the migrants for the sake of profits,” Slosar said.
Slosar is coming to South Florida from the El Paso sector at a time when federal data documents what we can see along our coastline -- an uptick this fiscal year in suspected human smuggling events.
Many of the recent migrants are from Cuba and Haiti.
“There are certain events that are occurring in their country that have led to people wanting to leave,” Slosar said, adding that smugglers want to take advantage of these people.
“Our number one concern is preservation of human life,” he said.