January 13 2017
The Obama administration, which has resorted to dubious practices to protect illegal immigrants from deportation,often with disastrous results, has finally found a group of refugees it does not welcome: people fleeing the Castro family's tyranny in Cuba.
President Obama announced Thursday an end to the 20-year-old "wet foot, dry foot" policy that allowed most Cuban migrants who reach U.S. soil to stay and become legal permanent residents after one year.
President Obama issued a statement Thursday evening saying the U.S. is working to normalize relations with its one-time foe, and ending this policy was the next logical step.
"Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal," Obama said. "By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries."
It does seem odd that the Obama administration is enthusiastic about taking refugees from the Middle East, even though they can't be properly vetted and often turn out to reject our values and refuse to assimilate, while at the same time now will turn away Cubans who risk their lives for freedom and thus already share our values.
While some such as Republican Senator Jeff Flake applaud the move, others regard it as another betrayal of the Cuban people:
Others were enraged, arguing that Cuba's communist regime continues to violate the human rights of its citizens. Frank Calzon, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, called Obama's decision "another example of a heartless foreign policy."
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Cuban-American Republican from Florida, agreed. "With just eight days left in his administration, President Obama has found one more way to frustrate the democratic aspirations of the Cuban people and provide yet another shameful concession to the Castro regime," he said.
President Bill Clinton developed the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which has long been a thorn in the side of the communist regime in Cuba. It should also be noted that Cuban Americans are one of the most successful immigrant groups in the U.S. They achieve economic independence and embrace American values. And now, to accommodate Raul Castro, they will be sent back to a repressive regime even if they reach the United States.