Digest>Archives> Sep/Oct 2016

Judge Orders Cubans Back


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The abandoned 1880 American Shoal Lighthouse is ...
Photo by: James Wolfrum

A federal court judge has ruled that the twenty Cuban migrants who landed on Florida’s American Shoal Lighthouse were not on “American soil” and could not apply for political asylum in the United States. The judge ordered the Coast Guard to return them to Cuba. The judge said that the lighthouse is a “navigational aid” and does not constitute land, because it sits out in the water.

However, because of the immense publicity involved with this case, it was felt that the Cuban government would harshly treat them and probably throw them into prison upon their return. So a deal was worked out with the U.S. Attorney whereby the Cuban migrants were shipped to the Guantanamo Naval Base, on the southeastern tip of Cuba where they would remain until they would be sent to another country willing to accept them as political refugees.

This story appeared in the Sep/Oct 2016 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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