IMMIGRATION

Cuban, Iraqi arrested as they attempted to land on Puerto Rico illegally

File photo shows 24 Cuban migrants in the waters south of Key West, Fla.

File photo shows 24 Cuban migrants in the waters south of Key West, Fla.  (AP)

Two men, one Cuban and one Iraqi, were arrested Monday as they were attempting to land illegally on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico, El Nuevo Dia is reporting.

Police said they were detained around 7 a.m. after the vessel they were traveling on capsized near the coast of Isabela.

The two men were handed over the US Border Patrol and appeared to be in good health.

Under the so-called federal "wet foot, dry foot policy," Cubans who reach U.S. soil are generally allowed to stay, while those intercepted at sea are usually repatriated to Cuba.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, fears about that policy potentially ending have caused a surge in the numbers of Cuban migrants.

The Coast Guard says 1,178 Cubans have been intercepted at sea since Oct. 1.

With reporting by the Associated Press.