Hearing in lawsuit for Cubans who climbed Keys lighthouse

MIAMI (AP) — A hearing is set in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of Cuban migrants seeking to remain in the U.S. after they climbed onto a lighthouse several miles off the Florida Keys.

An attorney for the migrants says he’s hopeful a Miami federal judge will order at Friday afternoon’s hearing that the Cubans remain under U.S. control until the matter is settled. The 21 migrants are on a Coast Guard cutter.

Under the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, Cubans who reach U.S. shores are usually allowed to stay, while those intercepted at sea are generally returned to the communist island.

The lawsuit claims the 136-year-old American Shoal lighthouse on a reef off Sugarloaf Key should qualify as U.S. territory so the migrants can stay. U.S. officials disagree.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.