Fears grow that US will end ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy granting legal status to Cubans who reach Florida shores
Al Jazeera, By Ben Piven, August 14
The lines outside the former Swiss-supervised U.S. interests section in Havana were notoriously long for decades, with Cubans applying for a legal path to what they hoped would be a better life.
But since the U.S. diplomatic facility was formally upgraded to an embassy on July 20, the United States and Cuba are perhaps one step closer to modifying an immigration arrangement that affords Cubans special status — whether they arrive stateside legally or not.
Under the Cuban Adjustment Act’s “wet foot, dry foot” policy dating back to 1994 migration accords, any Cuban who reaches the U.S. is permitted to stay in the country.
Although U.S. officials say unique migration laws are not going to be scrapped, the Cuban government is calling for reforms to a policy they argue results in brain drain.
Meanwhile, increasing emigration rates during the last year suggest popular perceptions are that the U.S. will soon make it more difficult for new immigrants to be automatically recognized as political refugees.
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