Sunday, January 13, 2013

Release: Coast Guard repatriates 46 Cuban migrants

News Release

Coast Guard repatriates 46 Cuban migrants

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island repatriated 46 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Sunday.

The Seventh Coast Guard District prosecuted four different Cuban migration cases that resulted in a total of 46 interdicted migrants by the crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Knight Island and Sawfish. The 46 migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island for repatriation.

"As the primary federal maritime law enforcement agency, the Coast Guard is tasked with interdicting undocumented migrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally by sea," said Rear Adm. William Baumgartner, Seventh Coast Guard District commander. "Migrants who travel aboard ill-equipped vessels or smuggled aboard go-fast boats are putting their lives at extreme risk. Our migrant interdiction patrols help save lives by deterring dangerous illegal migrant activity and removing migrants from unsafe environments."

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

As one of the primary missions, the Coast Guard has regular patrols by air and sea to combat illegal migration. In 2012, the Coast Guard rescued 1,875 Cuban migrants.

"Regardless of other governments' travel policy, the Coast Guard will continue to enforce federal laws and regulations prohibiting any person from encouraging illegal entry, or bringing, or attempting to bring, undocumented migrants into the U.S.," said Rear Adm. Baumgartner.

The Knight Island, Kodiak Island and other Island-class patrol boats are being replaced by 58 new, Sentinel-class fast response cutters. The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. The speed and stability of the FRC delivers tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

The cutter Knight Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.

The cutter Sawfish is a 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.

The cutter Kodiak Island is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Key West, Fla.

For more information on how to legally immigrate to the United States, call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov.
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Date: Jan 13, 2013

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