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61 Cubans Reach Miami-Dade County

July 11, 2001

MIAMI (AP) _ More than 60 Cubans have landed on Miami-Dade County shores this week after trips aboard smuggling boats, the Border Patrol said.

Forty landed near a marina at Miami Beach early Tuesday, and 21 arrived near Key Biscayne late Monday.

The Cubans told Border Patrol agents they paid smugglers between $450 and $500 to board boats near Sagua la Grande on Cuba’s northern coast. The arrivals seem to be linked, but officials haven’t confirmed it, said Joe Mellia, a Border Patrol spokesman.

Both groups were scheduled to be processed and then released, Mellia said. A 1966 law allows Cubans who reach U.S. shores to apply for American residency, an automatic right not granted to immigrants of other nations.

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