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“This is a totally new case for us.”

Venezuelan rafters
Photo: US Coast Guard

David Smolansky, commissioner of the Organization of American States (OAS) for Venezuelan migration, pointed out that it is the first time that a group of Venezuelan rafters has reached the coasts of the United States, in reference to the three vessels located by the US Coast Guard. on November 26 near the Virgin Islands.

“Since we have been in the OAS, as of 2018, it has been the first time they have reached the shores of the United States. It is a totally new case for us, “he told journalist Javier Mayorca in a publication on the portal Chronicles of the Caribbean.

The spokesman for the Coast Guard in Puerto Rico, Ricardo Castro, stressed that on other occasions they have intercepted Dominicans who come with some Venezuelans. “But I do not remember any case of three vessels that were completely supplied with Venezuelans,” he said.

In the early morning hours of November 26, officials from the Seventh Coast Guard District, based in Puerto Rico, received a notification about the arrival of 30 Venezuelan rafters Bolongo Bay, Saint Thomas.

These people notified the authorities that another boat had been adrift after breaking down. The Coast Guard located the other group of 12 migrants 20 nautical miles southeast of that island.

The 42 Venezuelans were taken to San Juan de Puerto Rico, where they were placed under the orders of a Border Patrol commission.

The chief supervisor of the St. Thomas Boat Forces, Luis Cabrera, warned about the risks of making this type of trip.

“We cannot lose sight of the dangers associated with the travel of illegal immigrants. These trips are made aboard heavily overloaded vessels with little or no rescue equipment, “he said.

The migration of Venezuelans to the United States increases

Smolansky indicated that there is currently a new wave of Venezuelan migrants seeking to reach the United States, most of them crossing the southern border illegally in the states of Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico.

Customs and Border Protection on Sunday intercepted two groups, one of 48 and the other of 120 Venezuelan migrants, in the town of La Paloma, Texas.

Among the Venezuelans were 86 single adults and another 82 people who were members of family groups. The ages range from 3 months to 74 years.

The commissioner explained that once the Border Patrol detains the migrants, they are transferred to a detention center while their cases are studied by the authorities.

For these situations, the so-called temporary protected status, or TPS, does not apply because the deadlines to request this benefit have already expired, he warned.

About 50,000 Venezuelans have entered the United States in 2021, according to Smolansky.

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