SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Ten Cuban migrants landed on a small island west of Puerto Rico on Monday and will likely be permitted to remain in the United States, U.S. authorities said.
Smugglers apparently dropped the migrants overnight on Monito Island, a mountainous speck about 60 miles west of the U.S. Caribbean territory's main island, authorities said.
All 10 were in good health and released to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection for processing. They were expected to be released Tuesday, said Jeffrey Quinones, a spokesman for the U.S. agency.
Under a U.S. policy known as "wet-foot, dry-foot," Cubans intercepted at sea are mostly sent home, while those who reach U.S. soil are usually allowed to stay.
Quinones said Monito Island is favored by Cuban migrants because at a 40-mile distance it is the closest U.S. territory to the Dominican Republic, a favored stop-off point on the route to Puerto Rico.
Separately, the U.S. Border Patrol said it apprehended eight migrants from the Dominican Republic on Puerto Rico's west coast Sunday night. All were expected to be deported except for one named in a felony warrant in New York.