U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Port of New Orleans processed eight Cubans who were rescued nearly 400 miles off the coast of Mobile, Alabama, Feb. 9.
The eight Cuban men were sailing in a makeshift raft consisting mostly of Styrofoam pieces and none were wearing appropriate life vests when a large cargo vessel spotted the crew and rescued them.
“Lawful pathways exist for Cubans to request advance authorization to travel to the U.S. that doesn’t include such grave life-threatening risks,” said New Orleans CBP Director of Field Operations Steve Stavinoha. “Any migrant intent on choosing unlawful pathways to enter the country, will face clear consequences.”
The rescued Cubans were transported to Boothville, Louisiana where they were transferred mid-stream onto a USCG cutter, Feb. 10. The migrants were taken to Venice, Louisiana where CBP officers took custody and transported them to New Orleans for processing. After review of their individual cases, all eight men were transported to Handcock Detention Facility in Gulfport Mississippi on Feb. 11 pending removal from the U.S.
Migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela may use the CBP One App to request advance authorization to travel to the United States to seek parole. CBP One is a free mobile application that enables noncitizens without appropriate documents for admission the ability to travel to the United States through certain southwest border land ports of entry by submitting information via the application instead of coming directly to wait at a port of entry.