Cuban migrants wreck boat, land on Brac

A group of 15 Cuban migrants were taken into custody by Cayman Islands immigration officials Friday. - Photo: Department of Immigration

A small group of Cuban migrants came ashore Monday in Cayman Brac after their vessel crashed and was destroyed, Immigration Department officials reported.

The three men suffered minor injuries in the marine wreck and were being kept in custody on the Brac, awaiting transfer to Grand Cayman.

The landing in the Brac was the first Cuban migrant landing reported by the Immigration Department since January.

There are now 26 migrants housed in the Immigration Detention Centre in George Town, but the number of illegal arrivals from Cuba has slowed significantly in the past six months.

Earlier this year, there were 60 migrants housed at the detention center. The costs of keeping up with the migrants has been a significant drain on Cayman’s budget since 2014.

The Legislative Assembly was asked in February to approve an additional $2.9 million for the housing, care, feeding and repatriation of migrants who had arrived illegally in the territory during 2015-2106.

During 2016, it was estimated that 150-175 Cubans came to these shores illegally and were held at the Immigration Detention Centre in Fairbanks, George Town before being sent back home. Many of the migrants told immigration officers that they were on their third or fourth trip to Cayman – trying to make for mainland Central America in search of jobs or their families in the United States.

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