South Florida record apprehension, Gotaways continue to watch

By Bethany Blankley (Center Square)

In January, Border Patrol agents illegally entered Florida with 1,402 foreign nationals, according to preliminary information obtained by The Center Square from a Border Patrol agent who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

They also reported 58 gateways, known and known to have illegally entered and evaded capture by law enforcement agencies. Combined, this totals 1,460.

The sector also reported 2,083 turnbacks, of people who tried to enter illegally but were turned away, and 675 “outstanding”, meaning they did not have enough information to classify the reported traffic incidents.

January’s data is up from 1,399 apprehensions and 40 departures, previously reported by The Center Square last month.

That’s down slightly from December, when Miami Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended a record 1,664 illegal aliens and 107 people, according to preliminary data obtained by The Center Square. Primary data excludes Office of Field Operations data.

The numbers are set to break records after the Miami Border Patrol sector reported a significant increase in apprehensions over the past few months and a 500% increase in apprehensions in fiscal year 2022 compared to fiscal year 2021.

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From September 1, 2021, to October 31, 2022, Miami Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 2,350 foreign nationals attempting to enter Florida illegally by sea. The majority were Cuban.

They also stopped 131 maritime smuggling incidents, a 330% increase from fiscal year 2021, Miami Sector Chief Agent Walter Schlosser said in December.

Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz announcement As of February 1, through October 1, 2022, Miami Sector agents responded to 246 immigrant landings and encountered more than 4,400 immigrants. He also said the sector has increased staffing and worked with federal, state and local agencies to intercept, detect and disrupt illegal maritime efforts in Florida.

On February 9, Slosher issued an alert that “Border Patrol agents and law enforcement partners are responding to an immigrant landing near Tavernier, Florida, involving a large number of individuals. There is an increased presence of law enforcement and first responders in the area.”

He later provided an update, noting that 114 Haitians had been arrested and transferred to a local Border Patrol station for processing.

Earlier in the day, agents took 26 Cubans into custody when they made landfall on the Marquesas Keys, an uninhabited island west of Key West.

Earlier in the day, they responded to a smuggling event where they encountered 3 Chinese, one Haitian and two Dominican Republic nationals. On the same day, US Coast Guard officers intercepted a smuggling operation using a sailboat near Lake Worth and detained 23 Haitians.

A suspected smuggler among those on the sailboat was arrested and “will be prosecuted by U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations-Miami,” CBP AMO Regional Director SE announcement

On Feb. 6, agents arrested a Colombian national with a significant criminal history and an active arrest warrant in Texas for his alleged involvement in organized crime related to theft and fraud, Schlosser said. said. He has been handed over to local authorities for extradition.

On February 3, BP agents and law enforcement partners arrested a group of 29 Cubans after they landed in the Florida Keys. Earlier in the day, they arrested 30 Cubans who landed in Dry Tortugas National Park, including 19 adults and 11 juveniles.

On January 2 Dry Tortugas National Park was temporarily closed and public access was prohibited so that law enforcement and medical personnel could deal with a group of 300 Cubans and those who had arrived.

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After 500 people were arrested in Key West on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency. He issued an executive order to activate the National Guard and other state resources “to protect Floridians from the dangerous effects of the Biden border crisis.

Miami Sector Agents, responsible for patrolling the 1,200-mile coastal border in Florida, regularly work with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, which has jurisdiction over the Florida Keys.

DeSantis’ office said the crowd has become “particularly burdensome for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office,” which has 194 deputies and limited resources dedicated to providing public safety.

“The number of individuals attempting to come to the United States and unauthorized alien detention in and around Florida has increased to alarming levels not seen in decades,” DeSantis’ order said. Since last August, federal, state and local officials have detained more than 8,000 people in Florida’s territorial waters alone, he said.

Syndicated with permission from Center Square.