US immigration tightens screws on ‘border-jumping’ Zimbabwean cruise ship workers

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Zimbabwean nationals working on cruise ships on United States waters have been banned from Miami Port shore leave.

This comes after it emerged that Zimbabweans were taking advantage of the shore leave to disappear into the United States without valid papers, leading to Miami Immigration barring them from disembarking.

A leaked internal human resources email from the luxury ocean liner, Celebrity Cruises, informed staff members of the directive from the Miami Customs and Border Control officers.

The order was effected on 20 February 2023.

The email said Zimbabwean workers are no longer allowed to leave cruise ships once they dock in Miami, Florida, and they must fly back home on the same day. It read:

“Please be advised, as per Miami Customs & Border Protection officers, effective immediately, crew (sic) from Zimbabwe nationality will not be allowed for Shore Leave in the port of Miami, and when disembarking the ship in Miami, they must be safeguarded with flights departing on the same day.”

Celebrity Cruises indicated that the directive from Miami immigration authorities was because Zimbabweans were fleeing inland after docking for leave at various destinations:

“[The] Reason for these restrictions is, lately, there has been a significant increase in deserting Zimbabwe crew from multiple cruise lines. We regret the impact of these restrictions to [sic] you and expect your kind understanding & corporation. Thank you.”

Zimbabwean cruise ship workers under stiff surveillance in Miami

Lately, there has been a surge in the number of Zimbabweans hunting for better job prospects on cruise ships from countries like the United Kingdom, United States and the Caribbean.

Some of the Zimbabwes are allegedly skipping the borders heading to Canada to claim asylum and some of the them just melt into the USA.

The rate of those disappearing for good has reportedly reached alarming levels. Cruise ship operators like Royal Caribbean are now sending back Zimbabweans without experience.


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