US Coast Guard Warns Title 42 Never Applied to Migrants Apprehended at Sea

The crew of the USCGC Campbell (WMEC 909) interdicts an overloaded Haitian sail freighter carrying 219 people in the South Florida Straits last month (USCG photo)

MIAMI, FL – The United States Coast Guard says the termination of Title 42 public health order does not alter the maritime migration policies for migrants, saying the measure never applied to migrants interdicted at sea.

The US Coast Guard said its Task Force is “monitoring the situation to ensure misinformation among Diaspora communities or disinformation spread by human smugglers does not encourage increased attempts to reach the United States by sea.

“US Coast Guard and Task Force partners will continue to rescue and repatriate migrants attempting to enter the United States irregularly by sea. We encourage anyone planning to come to the United States to do so through safe and lawful pathways,” said Rear Admiral Brendan C. McPherson, director of HSTF-SE and commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District.

“Do not take to the sea. As I’ve often said, irregular maritime migration is always dangerous and very often deadly. Migrants who are interdicted at sea will be immediately repatriated in accordance with policies and plans governing maritime migration in the Florida Straits and the Caribbean Sea.

“Migrants who reach our shores in the United States will be subject to expedited removal, and those who do not qualify for protection will be expeditiously removed with at least a five-year bar on returning to the United States,” McPherson added.

He said the Task Force is implementing plans to respond to irregular maritime migration in the Florida Straits and the Caribbean Sea.

McPherson said migrants who are interdicted at sea after April 27, 2023 will be disqualified indefinitely from the lawful parole processes for Cubans and Haitians, announced in January.

“Regardless of nationality, migrants interdicted at sea by Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, Coast Guard, or state law enforcement crews will be repatriated to their country of origin, returned to their country of departure, or resettled in a third country in accordance with polices and plans governing maritime migration in the Florida Straits and the Caribbean Sea,” he warned.

“Anyone who arrives irregularly by sea to the United States, including our territories, will be apprehended by Border Patrol and will be subject to expedited removal,” McPherson said, adding that suspected human smuggling events will be investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.”