KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — At least 500 migrants have landed in the Florida Keys in the past few days, described by the local sheriff’s office on Monday as a “crisis.”
Economic turmoil, food shortages and soaring inflation in Cuba and elsewhere in the Caribbean have fueled the recent wave of immigration. Over the weekend, 300 migrants arrived in the sparsely populated Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West. The park was closed so law enforcement and medical personnel could evaluate it before moving the group to Key West, the park tweeted.
Separately, 160 migrants arrived by boat to other parts of the Florida Keys over the New Year’s weekend, officials said. On Monday, his 30 of his two new groups of immigrants were spotted in Middlekeys.
In a news release, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay criticized the federal government’s response to rising immigrant arrivals and said it was expanding local resources. The U.S. Border Patrol has told the sheriff’s office that he may have to wait a day for a federal response to some migrant landings, the news release said.
“Refugee arrivals require significant resources from the Sheriff’s Office to assist our federal law enforcement partners in ensuring the health and safety of immigrants,” said the office’s jurisdiction of Florida Keys. said Ramsey, who covers “This demonstrates the lack of a federal work plan to address the foreseeable large-scale immigration problem.”
Dry Tortugas National Park officials said they expect the park to be closed for several days due to the space and resources needed to accommodate migrants. , attracts scuba divers and snorkelers in search of coral reefs, turtle nests, tropical fish and shipwrecks.
“Like elsewhere in the Florida Keys, the park has recently seen an increase in people arriving by boat from Cuba and landing on the islands of Dry Tortugas National Park,” the National Park Service said in a news release. I’m here.
In addition to landing in the national park over the weekend, 160 migrants arrived in the Middle and Upper Quays. At least 88 of the immigrants are from Cuba, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a tweet.
U.S. Border Patrol and Coast Guard crews patrolling South Florida and the Keys said the escalation of boat movements was the largest in nearly a decade, with hundreds of interceptions in recent months, mostly from Cuba and the United States. People from Haiti.