Wave of migrants in Florida Keys is emergency, sheriff says – WSVN 7News | Miami Information, Climate, Sports activities

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — No less than 500 migrants have arrived in small boats alongside the Florida Keys over the previous few days in what the native sheriff’s workplace described Monday as a “disaster.”

Financial turmoil, meals shortages and rising inflation in Cuba and different components of the Caribbean are spurring the newest wave of migration. Over the weekend, 300 hikers arrived on the sparsely populated Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Key West. The park was closed so regulation enforcement and medical personnel may consider the group earlier than shifting them to Key West, the park tweeted.

Individually, 160 migrants arrived by boat in different components of the Florida Keys over the New Yr’s Day weekend, officers mentioned. On Monday, 30 individuals in two new teams of migrants have been discovered within the Center Keys.

In a information launch, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay criticized the federal response to the rise in migrant arrivals, saying they’re straining native assets. U.S. Border Patrol instructed the sheriff’s workplace that the federal response to a number of the arriving migrants might have to attend a day, the information launch mentioned.

“Refugee arrivals require many assets from the Sheriff’s Workplace as we help our federal regulation enforcement companions to make sure that the migrants are in good well being and protected,” mentioned Ramsay, whose workplace jurisdiction spans the Florida Keys. “This reveals a scarcity of a piece plan by the federal authorities to cope with a mass migration drawback that was foreseeable.”

Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park officers mentioned they anticipated it to be closed for a number of days due to the area and assets wanted to look after the migrants. The nationwide park is on the southern tip of the continental United States – and attracts scuba divers and snorkelers for its coral reefs, nesting turtles, tropical fish and shipwrecks.

“As elsewhere within the Florida Keys, the park has not too long ago seen a rise in individuals arriving by boat from Cuba and touchdown on the islands of Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park,” the Nationwide Park Service mentioned in a information launch.

Along with touchdown on the nationwide park over the weekend, 160 different hikers arrived within the Center and Higher Keys. No less than 88 of the migrants are from Cuba, US Customs and Border Safety mentioned in a tweet.

U.S. Border Patrol and Coast Guard crews patrolling South Florida and the Keys have skilled the biggest escalation of boat migration in practically a decade, with lots of of interceptions in latest months, largely of individuals from Cuba and Haiti.

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