U.S. warns Haitians, Cubans against trying to enter illegally by sea

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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas delivers a speech during the inauguration of a facility to receive deportees, at La Aurora International airport in Guatemala City, Guatemala July 7, 2021. Guatemala Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

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WASHINGTON, July 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday warned would-be migrants from Cuba and Haiti against trying to reach the United States illegally by sea, saying the voyage was too dangerous and they will not be allowed to enter.

"Let me be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States," Mayorkas said at a news briefing.

Coast Guard officials are monitoring by air and have not seen a surge in migrants since the unrest in Cuba and the assassination of Haiti's president last week, he said.

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U.S. officials were prepared to deal with any surge, he added.

Mayorkas, whose family fled the Communist takeover of Cuba, said the issue had personal significance to him. He also stressed the danger of the journey.

"This risk is not worth taking," he said.

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Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Leslie Adler and Howard Goller

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