On the one hand, keeping browns out of the U.S. is a good thing. On the other, Obama didn’t slam the door shut on Cubans because they’re nonwhite. He surely did it, no matter the official explanation, because they vote Republican.
Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama is ending the longstanding “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allows Cubans who arrive in the United States without a visa to become permanent residents, the administration announced Thursday.
The move, which wasn’t previously outlined and is likely one of the final foreign policy decisions of Obama’s term, terminates a decades-long policy that many argued amounted to preferential treatment for a single group of migrants.
“By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries,” Obama wrote in a statement Thursday.
“The United States, a land of immigrants, has been enriched by the contributions of Cuban-Americans for more than a century,” he continued. “Since I took office, we have put the Cuban-American community at the center of our policies. With this change we will continue to welcome Cubans as we welcome immigrants from other nations, consistent with our laws.”
The policy, in place for more than two decades, has applied solely for Cubans. Other immigrants who attempt to enter the United States without a visa face arrest and deportation.
The US said Cuba had agreed as part of the announcement to accept migrants who were turned away from the United States back into the country.
Havana has long argued the policy encourages Cubans to make the dangerous crossing from Cuba to Florida. Immigrants from other nations have argued the policy amounts to preferential treatment for one group.
The decision was likely Obama’s last move in his historic dealings with Cuba. In 2014, he reopened ties to the island nation after a half-century of frozen diplomatic ties.
The wet foot dry foot policy was adopted because Cubans are the only people fleeing Communism. Mexicans aren’t running from persecution such as existed in Cuba since the Castro takeover. Neither are Haitians.
If only a policy encouraged white South Africans, Zimbabweans, and so forth to come to the United States.