Obama on Thursday ended the Cuban refugee policy to grant residency for Cubans who set foot on U.S. soil.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
January 13, 2017
Washington, D.C. - On Thursday, President Barack H. Obama ended the Cuban refugee policy known was "wet foot, dry foot" practice to grant Cuban refugees residency when they stepped on U.S. soil and to return refugees back to Cuba, if they were rescued on U.S. territorial waters. According to Obama, all undocumented Cubans that enter the U.S. illegally as of Friday, will be subject for deportation and considered undocumented like any other undocumented immigrant in the U.S.
Thousands of Cubans convicted of criminal offenses with immigration deportation orders will now be subject to deported back to Cuba. The Cuban government has agreed to accept any Cuban that has been deported from the U.S., according to Obama.
Obama's full statement released on Thursday concerning the Cuban immigration policy. "Today, the United States is taking important steps forward to normalize relations with Cuba and to bring greater consistency to our immigration policy. The Department of Homeland Security is ending the so-called "wet-foot/dry foot" policy, which was put in place more than twenty years ago and was designed for a different era. Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities. By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries. The Cuban government has agreed to accept the return of Cuban nationals who have been ordered removed, just as it has been accepting the return of migrants interdicted at sea.
"Today, the Department of Homeland Security is also ending the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program. The United States and Cuba are working together to combat diseases that endanger the health and lives of our people. By providing preferential treatment to Cuban medical personnel, the medical parole program contradicts those efforts, and risks harming the Cuban people. Cuban medical personnel will now be eligible to apply for asylum at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, consistent with the procedures for all foreign nationals.
"The United States, a land of immigrants, has been enriched by the contributions of Cuban-Americans for more than a century. Since I took office, we have put the Cuban-American community at the center of our policies. With this change we will continue to welcome Cubans as we welcome immigrants from other nations, consistent with our laws. During my Administration, we worked to improve the lives of the Cuban people - inside of Cuba - by providing them with greater access to resources, information and connectivity to the wider world. Sustaining that approach is the best way to ensure that Cubans can enjoy prosperity, pursue reforms, and determine their own destiny. As I said in Havana, the future of Cuba should be in the hands of the Cuban people."
During the Presidential election 2016, many Cubans in Florida supported Donald Trump and voted for him. Other Cubans in Florida mocked undocumented Mexican nationals and called for Trump to deport them and to build a wall. Now, the Cuban population in the U.S. is subject for deportation as well, if they don't seek U.S. citizenship.
All Cubans with immigration deportation orders will be deported, according to Obama.
GOP members in Congress had been working to end the Cuban political refugee policy, but Obama decided to end the wet foot, dry foot policy before leaving office.
Thousands of Cuban refugees in South and Central America awaiting for Mexico to grant them a temporary visa to reach the U.S. border will no longer be accepted as political refugees in the U.S.
Video: Cuban, a Trump supporter ranting about Mexican nationals https://youtu.be/c37JoMvhoYs