Officials to decide whether lighthouse Cuban migrants stay in US

The legal limbo for a group of Cuban migrants who were found at a lighthouse off Sugarloaf Key will not be sorted out until next week.

On Friday, a hearing took place to decide whether the 19 Cuban rafters who jumped from their boat and swam to the American Shoal Lighthouse will be allowed to remain in the U.S.

The incident occurred last Friday, May 20.

No decisions were made at Friday’s meeting due to a lack of evidence. Therefore, the judge has ordered another hearing, which will take place on May 31, where both sides will present evidence on whether or not the lighthouse is federal property.

Attorneys of the families claim the lighthouse is federal property, since the lighthouse is maintained by the government. They are prepared to go to federal court if the migrants are repatriated.

However, the U.S. Coast Guard wants to send the Cubans back to Cuba due to the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy.

Despite the controversy, their families are hopeful. “I know I believe in the love of this country and I know everything is going to be right,” said the cousin of a migrant Hilda Rodriguez. “I know it’s hard, but I understand and wait that everything is going to be good for them.”

The Coast Guard has agreed to hold the Cubans on a cutter at sea until Tuesday. However, the judge has asked that they be held on the cutter ship until at least Thursday.

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