Our good friend John Suarez responds to President Obama’s drastic change in Cuban immigration policy.
Response to President Obama’s Statement on Cuban Immigration Policy
Obama’s shameful legacy in Cuba
On December 17, 2014 when President Obama announced his new Cuba policy I wrote that Obama’s legacy would be one of normalizing relations with an abnormal regime. Over the course of eight years the marginalization of dissidents would result in the extrajudicial deaths of high profile dissidents such as Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and escalating violence against Cubans unhappy with the dictatorship. The end result, not surprisingly, is another Cuban exodus. We’d seen this before with President Carter and President Clinton, but the Obama Administration has gone further ironically going along with discrimination against Cuban Americans until it became an embarrassment in the media this past year.
The Office of the Press Secretary at The White House on January 12, 2017 released a “Statement by the President on Cuban Immigration Policy” that does two concrete things further restricts the Cuban Adjustment Act and ends the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program.
Once again the Obama administration secretly negotiated with the Castro regime and did not consult with Congress in restricting the Cuban Adjustment Act, which is US law. This is the second time that it has happened. From 1966 until 1995 The Cuban Adjustment meant that if a Cuban touched US territorial waters the Coast Guard would pick them up and take them to shore and they would obtain residency. Bill Clinton in 1995 reinterpreted the law to mean that Cubans had to touch land (dry feet) or be deported if caught in the water (wet feet). Now Obama has re-interpreted the law a step further saying that he will deport all Cubans who arrive in the US without a visa. This is a narrower interpretation of the law by the Executive branch without consulting with Congress.
Cubans, despite the rhetoric, do not have a special privilege but rather special circumstances that led to the Cuban Adjustment Act that unfortunately are not historically unique. The 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act was not the first such measure, the Hungarian Escape Act of 1958 granted Hungarians refugee status predates it by eight years. Nor was it the last, the Indochina Migration and Refugee Act of 1975 granted refugees from the conflict in South East Asia special status.
The Castro regime has long standing demands that both be repealed and this is the latest round of concessions to the dictatorship that will harm Cubans and will create chaos in South Florida because Cubans will continue to flee and go underground to avoid being deported to Castro’s Cuba.
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