Mexico_cuban_migrants_moev1 Cuban migrants have typically arrived by
boat in South Florida.
But increasingly, they are arriving by land.
Figures released last week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection showed
that more Cubans are using the land route than the sea route to reach
the United States.
Between Oct. 1 and March 24, a week ago Monday, at least 5,118 Cuban
migrants arrived via the Mexican border.
That's more than the number combined of Cuban migrants who reached
South Florida by boat and who were interdicted at sea by the U.S. Coast
Guard during the same time period: 2,767.
Cuban migration experts say the Mexican border route is becoming
more popular with Cuban migrants because it seems more guaranteed than
sea voyages. It isn't a question of safety, it's more a question of
making it to U.S. shore.
The Coast Guard seems to be interdicting more Cubans at sea, the
majority of whom are then returned to the island.
Mexican authorities, on the other hand, seem less likely to stop
Cuban migrants making the crossing between Cuba and the Yucatan
Peninsula, the preferred arrival point in Mexico.
After reaching Yucatan at Cancun or Isla Mujeres, Cuban migrants who
are caught on arrival are generally detained (see picture above) and
then allowed to proceed to the U.S. border by bus, car or plane.
The Cuban migrants then enter the United States under the wet
foot/dry foot policy.
-- Alfonso Chardy
March 30, 2008