Cuban migrants sent home

A group of 28 migrants have been sent back home to Cuba via chartered flight, alleviating pressure on the overcrowded Immigration Detention Centre. 

The migrants, including 22 men and six women, were escorted back to Havana by prison officers on Tuesday.  

The Cubans arrived on makeshift boats over the past few months and have been housed at the center at Fairbanks.  

There are still eight detainees left at the facility. Six migrants, who were among 11 who escaped over the Easter weekend, were still unaccounted for on Thursday. 

Prior to the repatriation of the 28 Cubans, the center had been close to maximum capacity. 

More than 160 Cuban migrants are estimated to have shown up in Cayman’s waters in the first three months of 2015, compared with 24 per month on average in 2014, and four per month in 2013.  

Fears that special status and residency rights enjoyed by Cubans who make it to the U.S. may be revoked as relations between the two countries normalize, appear to be behind the increase.  

Prisons director Neil Lavis said this week that new buildings may need to be found to help house the migrants if the trend continues. 

A large group of Cubans housed at the detention center were repatriated Tuesday. PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER