Texas wants to build a border wall to keep people out. However, in Miami, you can float right up to a stretch of South Beach directly in front of the Ritz-Carlton in your makeshift sailboat and be greeted with cheers from locals.
That was the scene earlier this morning when 12 Cuban migrants and a dog touched their feet on American shores for the first time.
The group included 11 men between the ages of 20 and 33, a 16-year-old girl, and a dog. They said they began their journey on a nine-foot boat from the central Cuban town of Villa Clara and spent six days at sea, two of them during which they were lost. By the time the group came ashore, they had run out of food, but they all appeared to be in good health.
The moment they arrived was caught on video, with people cheering them on and the cameraman shouting, "You guys made it, bro!"
According to WSVN, beachgoers gave the newly arrived immigrants cash and clothes off their backs. Meanwhile, staff members from nearby hotels provided them with food and water.
Officials are still trying to confirm that the group is actually from Cuba, and if they are, they'll likely be allowed to stay under America's "wet foot, dry foot" immigration policy that allows Cubans who reach American soil to legally remain in the country.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.