13 Cuban migrants intercepted at sea just off Dania Beach pier

Thirteen Cuban migrants trying to reach U.S. shores were picked up by federal immigration authorities Wednesday just off the Dania Beach pier in Broward, a once common sight that during the last few months has become something of a novelty.

The immigrants were transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard cutter for medical treatment for dehydration — and, in all probability, a trip back to Cuba — as a small crowd watched from shore.

In January, during the waning hours of the Obama administration, the U.S. policy that granted entry to any Cuban who reached American soil — known as wet foot, dry-foot — was ended. And since then, U.S.-bound Cuban migrants have virtually disappeared from the Florida Straits. Some 5,000 were apprehended during 2016; but in April, for the first time in seven years, the U.S. Coast Guard didn’t catch a single vessel.

The migrants stopped Wednesday were in a small blue sailboat with the words Dios delante — roughly translated to “God ahead” — lettered on the side. The sailboat was stopped by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection boat, and the migrants were loaded aboard a Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue vessel for transfer to the Coast Guard cutter.

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