The government shut down the Dry Tortugas National Park in the Florida Keys on Monday after hundreds of migrants landed on its uninhabited shores, with law enforcement and other officials looking into evaluating and providing care for the incoming migrants.

Dry Tortugas National Park, which is 70 miles west of Key West and comprised seven islands, found itself handling an increase of migrants in the area after an estimated 300-500 migrants were able to get to its shores via boat, according to ABC News.

The park has released a statement saying that the park will be “temporarily close to public access while law enforcement and medical personnel evaluate, provide care for and coordinate transport to Key West for approximately 300 migrants who arrived in the park over the past couple of days.”

The migrants were said to be coming mainly from Cuba, though it is believed that some of them reportedly are from other countries in the Caribbean area. The migrants are reportedly being cared for by authorities, given food and other needs as they are transported to the Florida Keys for further processing.

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay has used the sudden uptick in migrants entering the country to criticize the federal government’s response to the refugee crisis, saying that the local resources have been stretched thin by the arrival of the people, according to the Associated Press.

“Refugee arrivals require a lot of resources from the Sheriff’s Office as we help our federal law enforcement partners ensure the migrants are in good health and safe,” he said. “This shows a lack of a working plan by the federal government to deal with a mass migration issue that was foreseeable.”

The United States and Mexico have been experiencing a rush of migrants from different Latin American and Caribbean countries like Cuba and Haiti after an increase in economic and political turmoil in the area, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dry Tortugas Migrant Shutdown Rep. Pic
A new wave of migrants arriving in islands in the Florida Keys has caused the Dry Tortuga National Park to close for a few days as authorities process and care for the people who arrived there. This is a representational image. WEB AGENCY/Unsplash.

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