More than 100 Cubans have left their country in hopes for a better life and have ended up in Cayman’s Immigration Detention Centre until they’re repatriated, Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter reports on the year that was in Cuban migrants.
The 7th of January was the first day Cubans landed on the Cayman Islands in 2016, the opportunity to keep on sailing is offered to any passing boaters, but for those who decline, waiting for repatriation in immigration custody suites is the only option.
In February, the custody suites had to be expanded as an influx of over 70 Cubans came causing the Bodden Town and East End Civic Centers to be used as housing.
In March the number of detainees went down as 32 were flown home, leaving over 100 remaining on our shores.
The figures started to decrease to 54 until in mid April where 21 Cubans came ashore after their boat had engine damage, over 70 remained in custody. In May, a group of 42 Cubans arrived in a boat that was a threat to the environment. 43 Cubans were deported in June, clearing the Civic centers and 64 are waiting extradition.
But in July the number increased to over 80 in custody as another group of migrants experienced engine damage. Before another group could be repatriated to Cuba, 33 migrants made their way into Cayman’s waters in august but only nine stayed, leaving 73 in custody suites.
Eight Cubans were rescued in september as they were in the water for four days, some of them had to be taken to the hospital.
In December 22 more Cubans ran aground in the Brac. 11 of the 22 on board have landed in Cayman before. The last number of Cubans awaiting repatration is around 70. Over the holiday weekend 34 Cubans arrived on the Brac and were placed in the immigrations custody.