Nearly 40 Cuban migrants are being repatriated to Cuba after being caught at sea by U.S. Coast Guard officials.
The 39 migrants, who were first captured Monday aboard a rustic vessel in waters northwest of Havana, were returned Saturday to Bahia de Caba±as, Cuba, the Coast Guard reported.
Cubans are increasingly leaving their island amid fears they might lose a special status that gives Cubans automatic residency in the United States if they reach U.S. soil and in the wake of normalized diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Since Oct. 1, the Coast Guard 7th District in Miami estimates that 3,140 Cubans have attempted to illegally migrate via the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.
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