by The Miami Herald
MIAMI — The number of undocumented Cubans intercepted at sea or reaching U.S. shores has more than doubled over the last year.
El Nuevo Herald reports that 1,700 Cubans were interdicted or reached land in the 2011 fiscal year, which ended in September. The previous year there were 831. The largest increase was seen in Coast Guard interdictions at sea, which rose from 422 to 1,000.
Landings to U.S. shores rose from 409 to nearly 700, while arrivals at border posts remained largely unchanged.
Those numbers reverse a three-year downward trend.
Activists and those in contact with undocumented immigrants say the island’s weak economy could be fueling the increase. Elizardo Sanchez, head of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, says there is less money and food each day.