Cubans make up a large percentage of immigrants in the Miami area. Many people are from Cuba or have relatives from Cuba. In the past, the U.S. has had a policy under which Cubans were given a haven in the U.S., but this policy has shifted in recent years.
A recent policy shift has resulted in more Cubans not being allowed into the U.S. and more Cubans being deported. In the past, Cubans who arrived in the U.S. were allowed to stay if they step foot on U.S. soil. If they were on a boat and intercepted out at sea they were sent back to Cuba. Former President Obama ended the policy because the Cuban government had agreed to facilitate repatriations of Cuban nationals. Obama focused his attention on deporting undocumented immigrants who committed violent crimes. President Trump has shifted the policy by deporting any illegal immigrant, and that includes Cubans. Before President Trump came into office, a Cuban may have received a deportation order but they were never removed from the U.S. This is no longer the case and there are more Cubans in detention facilities than in any other time in our country’s history.
At this time in the U.S. it may seem like there are no illegal immigrants who are safe from deportation. The Cuban Adjustment Act is one of the only protections remaining and allows Cubans to apply for a green card after they have been in the U.S. for one year and a day. Immigrants come to the U.S. for a reason and they may have the legal right to pursue a citizenship or visa. But, the immigration system can be confusing and complicated. It is important that Cubans understand they may not receive the same immigration protections that they used to.