In an effort to continue normalization of U.S./Cuban relations, President Obama used an administrative rule change to end a longstanding policy that allows Cubans who set foot on “dry” U.S. soil to become a legal resident, according to the AP.
From BizPac Review
Of the move to end the “wet foot, dry foot” policy first initiated by Bill Clinton in 1995, a statement from Obama reads:
“Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities. By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries. The Cuban government has agreed to accept the return of Cuban nationals who have been ordered removed, just as it has been accepting the return of migrants interdicted at sea.”
Though Cuba is in favor of the change, it first had to agree to accept repatriations of people who arrive in the U.S., something it had not done before.
Yes, you read that right … the Obama administration is actually getting tough on immigration. The policy shift had social media rife with speculation and commentary:
— Contented Kimmie (@kimmieguy) January 12, 2017
We found immigrants Obama doesn’t want. https://t.co/Go8NLlYUyh
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) January 12, 2017
OK, sure, a major segment of anti-communist Cuban-Americans have historically voted Republican (although younger Cubans are starting to lean Dem), and there is also the fact that communist Cuba itself has worked for and is currently praising this policy change. But still, it’s an interesting move from someone who seemingly wants to fill the United States with as many Third World immigrants as possible.
POTUS would’ve kept the “wet foot, dry foot” policy in place, but we couldn’t get assurances from Havana that they’d only send Democrats.
— Josh Earnst (@NotJoshEarnest) January 12, 2017
Of Donald Trump’s likelihood of undoing the new rule next week, the AP writes:
Donald Trump could undo that rule after becoming president next week. He has criticized Obama’s moves to improve relations with Cuba. But ending a policy that has allowed hundreds of thousands of people to come to the United States without a visa also aligns with Trump’s commitment to tough immigration policies.
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