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13 January 2017 - Obama ends 'wet foot, dry foot' immigration policy for Cubans

Obama ending special immigration status for migrants fleeing Cuba
Karen DeYoung (The Washington Post, 12/01/2017)

The Obama administration, in one of its final foreign policy initiatives, on Thursday ended the special status accorded migrants fleeing Cuba who, upon reaching this country, were automatically allowed to stay.

Cubans are still covered by the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which grants them permanent residency — a green card — after they have been here for one year. Until now, they were given temporary “parole” status while waiting for that year to pass. That will no longer be granted, making the act moot for most by denying them entry on arrival.

Effective immediately, President Obama said in a statement, “Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally . . . will be subject to removal,” treating them “the same way we treat migrants from other countries.”

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"Wet foot, dry foot"
 
Obama Ending Special Cuban Immigration Residency Policy
Reuters (Newsweek, 12/01/2017)
 
The Obama administration is ending a policy that granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the United States without visas, several congressional sources said on Thursday.

The change in the policy, known as "wet foot, dry foot," is effective immediately. The Department of Homeland Security is also ending a policy for Cuban medical professionals, known as the parole program.

The policy change, which had been in the works for months, was made abruptly because advance warning might have inspired thousands more Cubans to take to the seas between the island and Florida in order to beat a deadline. "Otherwise you'd put lives at risk," one congressional aide said.

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"A different era"
 
Obama ends special ‘wet foot, dry foot’ immigration policy for Cubans
Stephen Dinan (The Washington Times, 12/01/2017)
 
The administration said Thursday that it was revoking the special “wet foot, dry foot” policy that gives legal status to Cubans who manage to reach the U.S., as President Obama sought to put the crowning touch on his rapprochement with the communist island.

Mr. Obama also ended a program to entice Cuban doctors working in other countries to flee to the U.S.

The president said the policies were relics of “a different era” and said scrapping them was the next logical step in reaching out to Cuba and making U.S. immigration policy fair for everyone. His aides said Cubans are fleeing their homes for the same economic reasons as Central Americans, and it no longer makes sense to treat them differently.

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Sending people back
 
Obama ends 'wet foot, dry foot' policy for Cuban immigrants
Associated Press in Washington (The Guardian, 12/01/2017)
 
President Barack Obama is ending a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to US soil to stay and become a legal resident, a senior administration official said Thursday.

The repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy is effective immediately, according the official. The decision follows months of negotiations focused in part on getting Cuba to agree to take back people who had arrived in the US.

The US and Cuba planned to issue a joint statement later Thursday. The official insisted on anonymity in order to detail the change ahead of the announcement.

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Last update January 13, 2017
Créé le January 13, 2017
ISSN 2107-7029
DGESCO Clé des Langues