On this Independence Day weekend, sometimes it’s good to remember those who have it harder than us, and who, still with all the issues we may face now, risk their lives to get here.  The article didn’t have any pictures of the latest group of folks fleeing Cuba, but the picture above is of a group that inventively used a Buick to make it safely here in 2004.

Psst, Beyonce, Jay Z, they ain’t fleeing for entertainment…

Via Keys News:

For most visitors of the Southernmost Point, a stone’s throw from Mile Marker 0, it is daylight hours when they stand beside the colorful bouy landmark smiling for a photo.

At 3 a.m. Friday, 28 Cubans made a landing, but it was a far cry from the usual hustle and bustle of tourist season. Another three made it ashore in Marathon on Thursday around 9:20 a.m.

Instead, this group came ashore in the dark with little else but the clothes on their backs.

Once U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities were notified, the refugees were well on their way to freedom. They will be processed, given medical treatment if needed and taken to a center near Miami. It usually takes up to a month to get the necessary paperwork before they are released.

The U.S. has the “wet-foot, dry-foot policy” that puts Cubans who reach U.S. soil on a fast track to permanent residency. The government initiated the policy in 1995 as an amendment to the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act passed by Congress when Cold War tensions ran high between the U.S. and the island nation.

A Key West police officer was also on site Friday morning and handed out a bunch of American flags he had collected following the fireworks display at Higgs Beach earlier in the evening. The immigrants got their picture taken near the famous statue.

But not all refugees are lucky enough to make it to land. Many more are intercepted in the waters outside of the U.S. and are returned to their native homeland when the U.S. Coast Guard comes upon their vessels.

Update:

A little bit more on the man behind the 2004 Buick boat in the picture.