The U.S. will not take in refugees fleeing Haiti or Cuba by boat amid the two countries’ ongoing political upheavals, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced Tuesday.
Cuban nationals have risen in historic protests against the nation’s ruling communist regime, and such protests in the past have led to many Cubans fleeing to the U.S. coast by boat en masse. Haiti also faces an uncertain political future following the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moise. Mayorkas said anyone claiming asylum will be resettled to a different country outside the U.S.
“Allow me to be clear: if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Mayorkas said in a Tuesday press conference. (RELATED: ‘Are You Suggesting Air Strikes In Cuba?’: Martha MacCallum Presses Miami Mayor On How US Should Intervene)
“If individuals make, establish a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for resettlement,” Mayorkas said. “They will not enter the United States.”
Frustration with the dictatorships incompetence,greed & repression is mounting rapidly pic.twitter.com/eSAr8Xrxpf
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 11, 2021
Mayorkas is himself a Cuban immigrant who fled the island nation with his family in 1960. Tens of thousands of protesters have not taken to the streets of Cuba decrying the communist regime and calling for freedom and a reform to the communist country’s medical system.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has blamed the uprising on the U.S. for withholding supplies from the nation. Cuban citizens have also accused the regime of cutting off the protesters’ access to the internet.
“We are not going to hand over the sovereignty or the independence of people. There are many revolutionaries in this country who are willing to give our lives, we are willing to do anything, and we will be in the streets fighting,” Diaz-Canel said Sunday, according to the Miami Herald.