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500 migrants find their way to Florida Keys shore forcing major park to close

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Dry Tortugas National Park in the Florida Keys has been forced to shut down to the public for “several days” after nearly 300 migrants arrived at the island. At the same time, an additional 160 migrants landed landed by boat elsewhere in the Florida Keys, officials said.

The New York Post reports the roughly 500 people are “believed to be from Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean” and came ashore in what local officials described as a major “crisis.”

Officials with Dry Tortugas National Park said the park would be closed to the public for “several days” while efforts are made to assist and process the migrants.

The closure, expected to last several days, is “necessary for the safety of visitors and staff because of the resources and space needed to attend to the migrants,” park officials said in a statement.

“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. Park first responders provide food, water and basic medical attention until the Department of Homeland Security arrives and takes the lead.”

On Monday two new groups of migrants of about 30 people were found in the Middle Keys. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a Monday statement it was assisting federal authorities with a sharp increase in Cuban refugees since Saturday going into Monday.

The crisis also faces failure of the federal government’s policies and assistance to border communities. The Keys office said it was told by US Border Patrol that some migrant landings might have to wait for federal help until the next day, causing the situation to get worse.

The office called it a “federal failure” that is leading to a “humanitarian crisis.”

“This shows a lack of a working plan by the federal government to deal with a mass migration issue that was foreseeable,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay.

He also noted in a statement, “Refugee arrivals require a lot of resources from the Sheriff’s Office as we help our federal law enforcement partners ensure the migrants are in good health and safe.”

The New York Post adds: “Border Patrol and the Coast Guard have been dealing with the largest spike in migration by boat in South Florida and the Keys in almost a decade, with hundreds of interceptions in recent months. Most of the people have been from Cuba and Haiti.”

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Nation

Canadian-U.S. border illegal crossings up 240% over previous year

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The vulnerability of the northern border of the United States is being weaponized in the war on illegal migration. 2023 saw a 240% increase of individuals apprehended from just one year prior. Not only is the border with Canada significantly longer than its border with Mexico, but its ports of entry are often understaffed while the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is forced to prioritize the southern surge.

According to recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in 2023 authorities halted over 12,000 migrants attempting illegal crossings at the Canadian border. The number is a 240% increase from the preceding year when 3,579 individuals were apprehended.

ADN America reports that approximately 70% of the illegal crossings took place along a 295-mile stretch along the northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire border called the Swanton Sector.

Chief patrol agent for the sector, Robert Garcia, posted on social media that the 3,100 individuals apprehended were from 55 different countries. 

Garcia wrote “the record-breaking surge of illegal entries from Canada continues in Swanton Sector” and he specifically mentioned that the arrest of 10 Bangladeshi citizens was prompted by a citizen’s report in Champlain, New York.

Surprisingly, ADN reports:

A significant number of those engaging in illegal crossings are Mexicans who exploit the opportunity to fly to Canada without a visa, also avoiding the presence of cartels in their home countries.

Experts suggest that migrants can purchase a $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto. This route is perceived as offering a lower likelihood of being turned away compared to those crossing the southern border.

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