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    US Coast Guard Commander: There’s a Plan in Place for Mass Migration from Cuba, Haiti

    US Coast Guard Commander: There’s a Plan in Place for Mass Migration from Cuba, Haiti

    As hundreds of Cuban migrants washed ashore on Year's Day in the Florida Keys, local officials complained to the state that their law enforcement resources were being stretched and overwhelmed.

    At the time, no one other than U.S. authorities knew that, out to sea, the crisis was building.

    The U.S. Coast Guard, which monitors the vast waters between Florida's shorelines, the Bahamas,  and , had onboard its cutters more than 1,000 migrants — most of them Cuban, though there were some Haitians —, on the decks of its ships out at sea. Unlike those who've reached land over the course of this latest migrant surge, people stopped at sea have been sent back to their countries aboard Coast Guard cutters.

    The Coast Guard had been making between 100 to 200 repatriations a day, but the Cuban government was marking the holidays, and the migrants aboard the cutters couldn't be immediately taken back.

    “That's not a normal circumstance,” Rear Adm. Brendan C. McPherson, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District and director of the Homeland Security Task -Southeast, said about the number of migrants aboard his cutters.

    “There was an increase in flow. You had more people leaving from Cuba over the holidays than you had prior to the holidays,” he said. “We conclude the reason is the same reason we couldn't do the repatriations: the Cuban government is on holiday like anybody…

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