Florida's Dry Tortugas National Park has been closed to the public after 300 migrants arrived by boat. The park, located at the tip of the Florida Keys, was closed to "evaluate, provide care for, and coordinate transport to Key West" for the migrants, per a statement from the National Park Service (NPS). The majority of the migrants are believed to be Cuban, reports Axios.
The migrants will be turned over to federal agents and processed through U.S. Border Security, The Washington Post writes. The Florida Keys have seen a marked increase in Cuban migrants seeking asylum; 80 individuals were sent back to Cuba just last week. Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said the uptick demonstrates a "lack of a working plan by the federal government to deal with a mass migration issue that was foreseeable."
The increase is largely due to Cuba's growing economic crisis, which includes food and fuel shortages as well as anti-government protests, Axios continues. In 2022, border officials came in contact with Cuban migrants over 250,000 times.
Border agents said Sunday they had responded to 10 migrant landings in the Keys since midnight that same day. "They're uninhabited remote islands that don't have the infrastructure to support them," said Lt. Cmdr. John Beal, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard's Seventh District.
The NPS has said the park's closure will remain in place until further notice.