PoliticsForeign Policy


Obama Ends Policy Making It Easier For Cubans To Immigrate To The US

With the end of the "wet foot/dry foot" policy, Cuban immigrants will no longer have preferential treatment.
Posted at 10:08 AM, Jun 16, 2017

In order to strengthen relations with Cuba, the Obama administration is ending a policy that made it easier for Cuban immigrants to come to America.

The White House announced it's ending the so-called "wet-foot/dry foot" policy. The policy let Cubans fleeing their country stay in the U.S. if they made it to the shore, and it allowed them become legal permanent residents after a year.

In years past, the U.S. was hesitant to send people back to the communist island when they were were fleeing an oppressive government and extreme poverty.

Now, Cuban defectors will be treated like undocumented immigrants from any other country.

In return, the Cuban government will accept Cuban nationals the U.S. wants to return. U.S. officials said some Cubans could still be granted political asylum if they were concerned about being persecuted.

Donald Trump could undo the policy change as president, but it's not clear if he will. On one hand, reducing immigration was a cornerstone of his campaign. But he's also opposed to improving the United States' relationship with Cuba.