By CARLI TEPROFF | Miami Herald
Fourteen Cuban migrants, who apparently landed undetected Christmas morning on Miami Beach, were rounded up after being found walking along Julia Tuttle Causeway, police said.
Few details were available Sunday about the group, spotted at about 9 a.m. on the causeway near the Alton Road exits, according to U.S. Border Patrol and the Miami Beach police.
It was unclear whether the group was smuggled and dropped off or whether they arrived on their own boat. The group was taken to the Krome detention center in West Miami-Dade for processing.
According to current U.S. policy, Cuban migrants who reach land usually are allowed to stay and later can apply for permanent residence. Those who are interdicted at sea typically are not admitted into the United States. Most are repatriated.
Sunday’s group likely will be allowed to begin a new life in the United States. They are among the more than 2,500 Cubans who have reached South Florida successfully during fiscal year 2005, according to U.S. Border Patrol figures.
The Coast Guard interdicted more than 2,600 Cubans at sea so far this year, the largest annual total since Cuban leader Fidel Castro ordered his nation’s border guards not to stop outbound rafters in 1994.