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Coast Guard says Cuban migration up -- repatriated 161 to island this week

MIAMI BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 15:  People look at a Cuban migrant boat that brought 12 people and a dog to the beach on September 15, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida.  U.S. Border Patrol officials responded to the area to take custody of the migrants and with the wet-foot, dry-foot policy in place they should be able stay in America.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIAMI BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 15: People look at a Cuban migrant boat that brought 12 people and a dog to the beach on September 15, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida. U.S. Border Patrol officials responded to the area to take custody of the migrants and with the wet-foot, dry-foot policy in place they should be able stay in America. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

The Coast Guard this week has repatriated 161 Cuban migrants to the island nation following more than a dozen interdictions at sea.

The Coast Guard said in a news release that 27 migrants were repatriated Friday, with 68 returned on Thursday and 66 on Monday. All were returned to the city of Bahia de Cabanas.

Cuban migrants attempting to reach the U.S. who are caught at sea are generally returned home, while those who reach American shores typically are allowed to stay.

Migration is up significantly this year amid fears that thawing relations with Cuba may lead the U.S. to end its preferential treatment of Cuban immigrants.

The Coast Guard says 6,318 Cubans have tried to migrate to the U.S. by sea since Oct. 1, compared with 4,473 in the entire past fiscal year.

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