- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

MIAMI (AP) - Federal officials say a group of Cuban migrants who climbed onto a lighthouse several miles off the Florida Keys should be returned to Cuba.

Homeland Security officials argued in a Thursday motion that the migrants’ request to stop the U.S. Coast Guard from repatriating them should be denied.

An attorney for the migrants says he’s hopeful a Miami federal judge will order at a Friday hearing that the Cubans remain under U.S. control until the matter is settled. The 21 migrants are on a Coast Guard cutter.

Under the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, Cubans who reach U.S. shores are usually allowed to stay, while those intercepted at sea are generally returned to the communist island.

U.S. officials say the 136-year-old American Shoal lighthouse, located on a reef off Sugarloaf Key, is not dry land.

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