Border Patrol Arrests 263 Migrants Crossing Into Florida On ‘Makeshift’ Rafts

[Screenshot/NBC News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Border Patrol announced Sunday that it arrested 263 migrants after responding to 16 migrants landings in South Florida in a two-day period.

The migrants were apprehended by Border Patrol agents off the shores of South Florida as they were located on “makeshift, overloaded” rafts, Chief Border Patrol agent Walter Slosar announced.

“We urge migrants to avoid these dangerous voyages that can potentially result in loss of life,” Slosar said.

Slosar reported Friday that Border Patrol arrested 108 migrants as they attempted entry at migrants landings. A boat carrying Cuban migrants capsized Friday near Sugarloaf Key, Local 10 News reported. Footage showed a medical examiner’s van placing two bodies inside.

The next day, Slosar announced that 42 Cuban migrants were taken into custody as agencies responded to three different landings.

Hours later, a large vessel carrying 113 Haitian migrants was discovered near Key Largo, Slosar announced Saturday. After medically screening all of the migrants, two were taken into a local hospital to be treated for dehydration. The remaining were taken to a United States Coast Guard Southeast cutter. (RELATED: 11 Dead After Migrant Ship Capsizes By Puerto Rico)

Record numbers of Cuban and Haitian migrants have attempted to enter the U.S. by boat throughout the past year, the Coast Guard told the Washington Examiner. In March, 365 Haitian migrants entered the Ocean Reef near Key Largo, Local 10 News reported.

Since October, the start of the fiscal year, the Coast Guard has apprehended more than 10,000 people attempting to enter the U.S. by sea, the Examiner reported. Nearly 3,400 were from Cuba and 6,100 from Haiti. Roughly 2,000 were off the coasts of Cuba and Puerto Rico, and the rest were off of the Florida Keys and South Florida.

In May, 146,146 migrants were aboard a vessel illegally heading to the U.S., the USCG Southeast previously announced.

The U.S. has witnessed over 2.2 million nationwide encounters in the 2022 fiscal year, topping the total of 1.9 million in the previous fiscal year, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).