“As it stands, this anachronistic policy is irrational, strains relations with America’s neighbors and endangers lives,” reads an August 31 article by the New York Times.
The piece references the letter sent at the beginning of this week by nine Latin American governments to Secretary of State John Kerry, requesting the U.S. government “end its preferential immigration policy for Cubans, calling it “discriminatory” and a boon to human smuggling networks in the region.
The report continues, “In a rare public letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, the foreign ministers of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru requested a high-level meeting to discuss a policy that they said is fueling the “disorderly, irregular and unsafe” migration of Cubans through their countries.
”Under the policy known as “wet foot, dry foot,” Cubans who reach American soil are generally allowed to become permanent residents within one year and to apply for citizenship after six. Those apprehended at sea are turned back.”
The NY Times also notes that “migration has spawned human smuggling operations across South and Central America and strained the resources of countries that have had to provide shelter to the thousands who get stranded along the way.”
Citing a statement by Guillaume Long, Ecuadoran foreign minister the article highlights: “Encouraged by the U.S. ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy, Cuban migrants often become victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and violence…It is time for the United States to change its outdated policy for Cuban migrants, which is undermining regular and safe migration in our continent.”
The Times concludes by noting that “As it stands, this anachronistic policy is irrational, strains relations with America’s neighbors and endangers lives.”
Meanwhile, during an August 31 press briefing, Whitehouse spokesman Josh Earnest reiterated that the U.S. government has not put forward a congressional proposal seeking to change either the wet foot, dry foot’ policy or the 1966 approved Cuban Adjustment Act.