MIAMI — A U.S. Coast Guard crewman cradled two babies after rescuing them from a boat struggling in swells of 6 to 10 feet. Their families, and many others, were desperate to get to the United States, in spite of the perilous seas, the risk of being stopped, or worse.

Monday’s unfolding drama off the Florida Keys played out with dozens of people attempting to migrate from Haiti with their toddlers and infants.

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