NEWS

300 migrants make landings at national park in Florida Keys

Key West, FL — A US national park made up of islands in the Florida Keys closed Monday after 300 migrants landed over the weekend. Separately, 160 migrants arrived by boat in other parts of the archipelago, officials said.

Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Key West, has closed to allow law enforcement and medical personnel to assess migrants before transferring them to Key West, the park tweeted. .

“The closure, which is expected to last several days, is necessary for the safety of visitors and staff due to the resources and space needed to accommodate immigration,” park officials said in a statement.

This national park at the southern tip of the continental United States attracts scuba divers and snorkelers for its coral reefs, turtle nests, tropical fish and shipwrecks.

“Like elsewhere in the Florida Keys, the park has recently seen an increase in people arriving by boat from Cuba and landing on the islands of Dry Tortugas National Park,” the National Park Service said in a news release. I’m here.

Over the weekend, 160 other immigrants landed in the Middle and Upper Keys, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, which has jurisdiction over the Florida Keys.

US Customs and Border Protection said in a tweet that at least 88 migrants came from Cuba. U.S. Border Patrol and Coast Guard crews patrolling South Florida and the Keys said the escalation of boat movements was the largest in almost a decade, with hundreds of interceptions in recent months, mostly from Cuba and the United States. People from Haiti.

In a news release, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay criticized the federal government’s response to rising immigrant arrivals and said it was expanding local resources. The sheriff’s office was told by U.S. Border Patrol that the federal government’s response to some immigrant landings may have to wait a day, according to a news release.

“This demonstrates the lack of a federal work plan to address the foreseeable large-scale immigration problem,” Ramsay said.

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