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Coast Guard repatriates 46 Cubans

Jan. 14, 2013 at 11:14 AM

MIAMI, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Forty-six Cuban migrants have been returned to their home country, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Seventh Coast Guard District prosecuted four Cuban migration cases resulting in 46 interdicted migrants being repatriated to Bahia de Cabanas, the Coast Guard said Sunday in a release.

"As the primary federal maritime law enforcement agency, the Coast Guard is tasked with interdicting undocumented migrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally by sea," said Rear Adm. William Baumgartner, Seventh Coast Guard District commander.

"Migrants who travel aboard ill-equipped vessels or smuggled aboard go-fast boats are putting their lives at extreme risk. Our migrant interdiction patrols help save lives by deterring dangerous illegal migrant activity and removing migrants from unsafe environments."

The Coast Guard regularly conducts patrols by air and sea to combat illegal migration. In 2012, the Coast Guard rescued 1,875 Cuban migrants.

"Regardless of other governments' travel policy, the Coast Guard will continue to enforce federal laws and regulations prohibiting any person from encouraging illegal entry, or bringing, or attempting to bring, undocumented migrants into the U.S.," Baumgartner said.

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