Hundreds of Migrants Arrive on Florida’s Shores

Hundreds of Migrants Arrive on Florida's Shores

( – In 1513, Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon happened upon an island off the southern coast of Florida. So impressed by the number of sea turtles inhabiting the space, he gave the land a name — Las Tortugas. The island officially became Dry Tortugas, so visitors would know to bring their own fresh water to the space because the resource was scarce. Today, Dry Tortugas National Park encompasses not only that island but also a group of uninhabited land masses famed for their sunken ships, pristine waters, coral reefs — and migrants.

On January 2, the park closed to the public after discovering a group of about 300 migrants that landed on the shores of the islands. Officials announced the closure came so authorities and medical professionals could assess the migrants’ health and set up transport from the area to somewhere in Key West. The notice said the park should re-open in a few days.

The hundreds found at the park weren’t the only people that arrived in the region. According to Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar from the US Border Patrol (BP), over 160 more people recently arrived at various locations across the Keys.

Although officials didn’t specify the peoples’ exact country of origin, the news release did mention park personnel has seen an increase in boats arriving from Cuba, where the communist government has failed to solve horrible economic conditions and left its citizens to suffer.

In those cases, the park provides basic care until the Department of Homeland Security arrives on the scene to take over the migrants’ processing.

On January 1, the Southeast Homeland Security Task Force said on social media that the department will provide services to those who arrive as well as assess their “legal status.” The post also emphasized the danger of migrating over treacherous seas.

What do you think of the response to the migrants’ arrival on the islands?

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