A day after Pres. Obama’s visit to Cuba, two Texas congressmen Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) introduced the Correcting Unfair Benefits for Aliens (CUBA) Act, which would repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 that grants Cubans automatic permanent residence if they set foot on U.S. soil. The congressmen say that this wet foot/ dry foot policy is a relic “of a bygone era” and that the preferential treatment of Cubans “no longer makes sense”.
“It is the sense of Congress that Cuban nationals should be treated under the same immigration rules as nationals of other countries,” reads part of the CUBA Act legislation text.
The 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act states that if a Cuban leaves his home country and is caught at sea then they are sent back to Cuba, but if they make it to dry U.S. soil they are put on a fast track to citizenship. This makes them eligible for welfare benefits and can receive a green card after a year in the U.S. and are not subject to visa caps.
“With the president's historic visit to the country this week as well as the normalization of relations, we shouldn't lose sight of the thousands of people from regions like Central America who are fleeing serious threats from drug violence and face a disadvantage when compared with Cubans,” wrote Rep. Cuellar in a press release.
Rep. Farenthold mentioned in the press release that Texas is already seeing a 60% increase in Cuban migrants entering the U.S. Around 44,000 Cubans reached the U.S.- Mexico border during the 2015 fiscal year, this is more than double the number that entered in 2014, which was only 17,466 Cubans.
Read more on this story at The Brownsville Herald.
Updated: Tue, Apr 12th 2016 @ 3:35pm EDT