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Migrants at Florida lighthouse must return to Cuba, US judge rules

A federal judge has ruled a group of 21 Cuban migrants who reached a lighthouse off the Florida Keys last month are not on US soil and must return to Cuba.

Judge Darrin Gayles ruled the American Shoal lighthouse does not count as dry land under the US "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy.

Cubans who reach US shores are usually allowed to stay, while those intercepted at sea are generally returned home.

Lawyers acting for the migrants argued the lighthouse is US territory, and their clients should get to stay.

Attorneys for the federal government acknowledged the lighthouse is US property but argued it was not equal to dry land.

The lighthouse is located about seven miles from Sugarloaf Key.

The migrants have been aboard a Coast Guard cutter since May 20.


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