Cuba Blames People Fleeing On US Immigration Policy

REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Cuba had stern words for the United States Sunday, saying Cubans trying to get to the U.S. “receive differential treatment … they are immediately and automatically admitted … including if they arrived by illegal means.”

The Cuban government issued the statement after 14 Cubans were deported from Colombia. Cubans fleeing their country’s dictatorship are, according to the Cuban government, “victims of the politicization of the migration issue by the U.S. government, which stimulates illegal and unsafe immigration,” indirectly referring to the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act. Colombia is currently in the process of deporting 1,200 Cubans.

Because of the Cuban Adjustment Act, U.S. law dictates that Cuban refugees can receive benefits from the federal government during their first five years in the country since they are considered asylum seekers. The issue of Cuban migration to the U.S. has been in headlines for several months.

Cubans are increasingly trying to get into the U.S. as soon as possible out of fears U.S. policy may change as a result of the U.S. normalizing relations with Cuba in December, 2014. Normalized ties mean embassies have been reopened and commercial ties are being advanced.

Ecuador kicked out a whole lot of Cubans back in July for trying to use the South American country as part of a path for getting into the U.S. Almost 4,000 Cubans who were stranded in Panama ended up being flown to Juarez, Mexico, near the U.S. border from where they are suspected of trying to get into the U.S. in May.

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