Border Patrol: 20 migrants stranded west of Florida Keys in 2 days

Federal authorities reported rescuing eight migrants on Tuesday in Marquesas Keys. (U.S. Border Patrol’s Miami sector)

KEY WEST, Fla. – Federal agents detained a group of 20 migrants who were stranded on Monday and Tuesday on uninhabited islands west of the Florida Keys.

Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar, of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Miami sector, reported the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection rescued eight on Tuesday in the Marquesas Keys.

“Good Samaritans encountered the migrants & notified authorities,” Slosar wrote on Twitter, adding “#Cuba.”

There were 12 migrants in the same area on Monday, about 20 miles west of Key West, according to Slosar. He shared photos of two separate makeshift wooden boats.

Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar shared photos of two boats near migrants who were stranded 20 miles west of Key West on Monday, right, and Tuesday, left. (US Border Patrol)

Slosar has been documenting the dangerous makeshift vessels migrants are using to cross the Florida Straits.

On Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard Southeast reported stopping a sailing vessel with 67 migrants from Haiti, including minors.

On Sunday, Slosar reported a group of 19 migrants spent five days at sea on a “homemade” boat before they were stranded Saturday on the Dry Tortugas islands, about 70 miles west of Key West.

The groups are part of an ongoing increase in migration from Cuba and Haiti.

This fiscal year-to-date, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection had nearly 140,000 encounters with migrants from Haiti and Cuba so far, as opposed to about 88,000 last year, according to federal data last updated in May.

Graphic: Data on migrants from Cuba and Haiti

Federal data on migrants from Cuba and Haiti this year. (US Border Patrol)


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About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.