Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday vowed to turn away Cuban and Haitian refugees who attempt to arrive in the US by boat amid crises in their countries.
“Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Mayorkas said at a news conference.
Cuba on Sunday had its largest protests in decades, with citizens denouncing the Communist leadership and a lack of food and COVID-19 vaccines. Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated last week, sparking a political crisis.
The DHS secretary said the Coast Guard is monitoring the waters around Florida and Puerto Rico and that “any migrant intercepted at sea, regardless of their nationality, will not be permitted to enter the United States.”
Instead, sea migrants will either be returned to their home country or sent to a third country if they make a credible claim of “fear of persecution or torture.”
Alejandro Mayorkas is aiming to discourage migration