Cubans Use Parks to Come Ashore
In the Southwest, illegal immigrants and illicit drugs are funneled into the United States through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Coronado National Memorial, just to name two gateways.
In the South, Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks are entry points for Cubans looking for a new life in the United States.
During the last week of February, 56 Cubans reached the beach at Dry Tortugas while 46 were found on Cape Sable in Everglades. In each case the immigrants were taken into U.S. custody but not expected to be returned to Cuba.
"So far this year, 121 Cuban migrants have made 'dry foot' in Dry Tortugas National Park," says Chief Ranger Bonnie Foist. "The Cuban Readjustment Act, also known as the 'wet-foot/dry-foot' policy, allows Cuban migrants to remain in the United States if they make it to U.S. soil.
"Dry Tortugas has been dealing with the Cuban migrant issue since 2004. Over that period, more than 1,700 migrants have landed in the park," she adds. "These landings are significant park events and require considerable staff and time to handle due to the logistics of coordinating transportation and transfer..."
Where's the Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security when you need them?