US border officials issue warning after Cubans cross Mona Passage

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 12:24 Written by  font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico, Monday January 4, 2016 – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a warning about the dangers of crossing the Mona Passage – the strait that separates the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico – after 13 undocumented Cuban immigrants arrived in Puerto Rico’s Mona Island.

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico, Monday January 4, 2016 – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a warning about the dangers of crossing the Mona Passage – the strait that separates the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico – after 13 undocumented Cuban immigrants arrived in Puerto Rico’s Mona Island.The 12 men and one woman were taken into custody last week.“Crossing the Mona Passage is a treacherous voyage filled with many dangers that pose a huge risk to migrants,” said Ramiro Cerrillo, Ramey Sector Chief Patrol Agent.“We issue a concerned warning on the danger of traversing the Mona Passage, with the hope of avoiding an unfortunate event.”Illegal immigrants arriving in Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic are usually transported in rustic, homemade wooden vessels commonly referred to as yolas.A typical yola is an unsafe vessel, generally underpowered with a single outboard motor, and overloaded with a large number of passengers – more than 100 persons on a 40-foot yola, for example.According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), while smuggling by sea accounts only for a small portion of overall migrant smuggling around the world, the particular dangers of irregular travel at sea make it a priority.

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