While the vast majority of illegal border crossings remain concentrated at the Southwest U.S. border between the United States and Mexico, Customs and Border Protection is now warning of an escalating situation on another border front to the east: Florida.
“U.S. Border Patrol has observed a steady increase in maritime illegal immigration and drug-smuggling attempts over the past year up and down Florida’s coastline,” CBP warned in a press release issued late last week.
The immigration agency reported it apprehended 56 illegal aliens from Cuba last week alone in a “string of landings” representing a significant several-day spike for that particular sector. CBP notes that after undocumented persons are apprehended along the Florida coastline, they are admitted into the United States to await their day in court:
After admissibility processing at a Border Patrol station, Cuban nationals will receive a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an Immigration Judge, for further proceedings under the Cuban Migration Agreement of 1995 and the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.
According to CBP, agents with the Border Patrol Miami Sector alone apprehended 1,752 undocumented migrants between the ports of entry in FY2015. Only 155 cases – just under nine percent – were accepted for prosecution.