A group of migrants who fled Cuba in a homemade boat and climbed onto a lighthouse off the Florida Keys want to be allowed to stay in the United States.

Under the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, Cubans who reach U.S. territory are generally allowed to remain in this country, while those intercepted at sea usually go back.

The question put to a federal judge in Miami is whether the American Shoal lighthouse counts as U.S. territory, even though it is about seven miles from dry land.

There's some precedent here: In 2006, a judge ruled that part of the old Seven Mile Bridge in the Keys qualifies, even though it is no longer connected to land.

The 21 migrants remain aboard a Coast Guard cutter.