US ends ‘wet foot, dry foot’ Cuba policy

| 12/01/2017 | 26 Comments

(CNS): With just days to go before the end of Barack Obama’s historic term as president of the United States of America, his administration has announced an end to the policy which allows Cuban migrants who reach US soil to stay there legally while those intercepted at sea are sent back to Cuba. In exchange, Cuba has agreed to start accepting Cubans who have been issued a deportation order in the US after refusing to do so for decades. The decision could have a significant impact on the Cayman Islands, where thousands of migrants have landed over the years as they attempt to make the perilous journey to America.

The decision by the US government comes one week before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Trump has said he would renegotiate the historic deal that Obama signed with Cuba that ended the five decades of cold war stand-off between the two countries. If this latest announcement sticks, Cubans will no longer receive preferential treatment over migrants from other countries.

Trump has said he would renegotiate the deal with Cuba, and ending the ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy could affect his plans. But rumors of the end of the policy have been rampant in Cuba over the last two years because of the rapprochement between Havana and Washington, causing a surge of Cuban migration.

An end to the ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy could see an end to the stream of migrants arriving here on their way to Central America, from where they can cross into the US overland. Cayman is spending millions of dollars every year housing, processing and repatriating Cubans who end their journeys here because of vessel failures and other problems.

The US Department of Homeland Security cited “significant increase” in migrant crossing as one of the reasons to end the policy, arguing that more Cubans are taking those dangerous routes out of fear that their window of opportunity is closing.

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Category: Caribbean, Local News, USA, World News

Comments (26)

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  1. Trump says:

    I’m altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.

  2. Unison says:

    Well at least they will now think twice before sailing the dangerous ocean, endangering their own lives and causing many governments to pay for it.

    Yes it is a bit sad that they are stuck with a Castro government … but folks this is good news for us. Just think of the money we have to spend to house them and repat them back to Cuba. :))

    And now many of them can learn that instead of fleeing their country, they can stand up and change Cuba from the inside-out. All Cubans have that power and resilience in them to take back their own country or improve on it. 🙂

    • Unison says:

      I know my words seem a bit indifferent and harsh, but I speak the truth.

      If these Cubans have the power in them to sail dangerous seas, surely the Good Lord must have placed in them the power to change and reform their own country!

      Come on Cubans! Listen to Obama, YES YOU CAN!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Haha suckers take that,sorry for them when trump starts to enslave them all in America. they going wish they had good ol El Comadante to run back to

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cayman has an immigration policy? I could have sworn they have no policy; just some people at desk filling out paperwork, stamping passports and going for lunch.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just pray that when Donald gets to Disney next Friday he don’t reverse it.

  6. AO says:

    Why now, after 8 years of holding office?

    A few days left and pulls a major stunt like this…..’interesting’ is not the word I want to use.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must be Cuban.

    • Al Catraz says:

      Because the recent round of understandings between Cuba and the US were concluded a few months ago. This could not have been done until that happened. The issue only now came up since with increased travel and trade with Cuba resulting from the recent agreements, then it would be dumb for the US to maintain a policy of unconditionally admitting persons into the US from Cuba.

  7. Realist says:

    I hope we will now change our policy for those who land here allowing them to make repairs, members of public being allowed to cloths, food and any other assistance they may need.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they cant get into the US legally now there will not be any more people trying to get in…they will just get sent back and face persecution.

  8. T. Jefferson says:

    The “wet foot, dry foot” policy was idiotic to begin with!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Obama. This decision will save thousands of lives. I am so thankful that our government did not give in to the heartless members of the community who encouraged officials to give the Cubans a bottle of water and send them to their death.

    Given this change in policy it is important that our policy of not supporting illegal immigration is strictly enforced.

  10. Anonymous says:

    That’s the best news am hearing for the year so far!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh my, another hit for the Brac economy. Their ‘keep going/send to Cayman’ industry gone to the bottom of the sea. No more money to make off the ‘keep goings’ but thank God we can stop spending on the ‘send to Caymans’.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just could not help yourself could you?

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      You don’t understand the Brac or Brackers at all. This makes zero difference to the Brac economy. It might not even matter much to Cubans. You seem to think that it saves money for the Cayman Islands to repatriate Cubans. It does not. If we were smart, we’d outfit them all with basic humanitarian supplies and many prayers.

      The Brac doesn’t benefit. The Brac only hopes and prays that each shift of Cubans that elect to go on survives. That’s it. The Cubans’ lives are not like yours; they don’t have the luxury of pissing on or judging people that are oppressed. Lucky you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Keep going/send to Cayman industry???? Bet those Cubans fleeing their country are thankful that the Brac is a place to stop on their journey. If the shoe was on the other foot, I am sure us Caymanians would be thankful for being able to stop in Cuba on our way to US.

      Times can change, anybody old enough to remember when all the US tourists would go to Cuba in the 1950’s and Cayman had hardly any tourist industry, no financial industry?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good news

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