Styrofoam migrant to go to Gitmo

July 20, 2010 at 10:24 AM
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MARATHON, Fla., July 20 (UPI) -- A Cuban migrant found in a Styrofoam boat will be sent to the U.S. naval facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for third-country resettlement, officials said.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Barry Bena said immigration officials made the decision to seek possible third-country resettlement after interviewing the migrant aboard the Coast Guard vessel that rescued him July 13 in the Florida Straits about 50 miles south of Marathon, Fla., The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Under the U.S. wet-foot/dry-foot policy, most Cuban migrants intercepted at sea are returned home while those who reach U.S. shores are allowed to stay, the Herald said. However, some Cubans stopped at sea are sent to Guantanamo for third-country resettlement if immigration officials are convinced the migrants might face persecution if returned home.

U.S. officials said the migrant departed from the Havana area June 20. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection surveillance aircraft spotted the "severely dehydrated" migrant about July 13, and directed a Coast Guard vessel to rescue him. On Monday, the Coast Guard did not identify the migrant or the boat, or explain how the man survived at sea for three weeks.

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