In Cuba, fears of the end of the US policy of special treatment to Cuban nationals, specifically US taxpayer funded refugee benefits and virtual exemption from deportation, could spark a mass exodus from Cuba to get in to the US before the “Gravy Train Ends”.
As the Obama administration takes measures to normalize relations with Cuba, the proverbial “elephant in the room” needs to be addressed. The Cuban Refugee Act and “Wet Foot Dry Foot”.
Present day Cubans are not legitimate refugees, they are economically depressed migrants who are no different than any other impoverished migrants from countries around the world who are attempting to come to the US for jobs and a better quality of life.
Legitimate refugees can’t return to their home countries due to fear of persecution, imprisonment or death.
The vast majority of Cubans who have supposedly escaped from the “island fortress” and made it to the US routinely return to Cuba to visit family, party, etc., and then return to the US as would normal overseas travelers.
In the early 2000’s, Cuban’s were traveling to and from Cuba so frequently that the Bush administration had to enact travel restrictions limiting trips to once every three years or so because it was becoming impossible to keep up the facade of being legitimate “refugees” when Cuban’s were able to travel back and forth from the country that they supposedly just escaped from.
The difference with Cubans entering into the US in any manner, illegally or legally, is that they are considered “refugees” and thus receive refugee benefits such as, Medicaid, subsidized housing, food stamps, (TANF) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and a myriad of other taxpayer funded benefits.
Another perk of the special treatment Cubans receive is being virtually exempt from deportation upon conviction of crimes in the US.
In the early 2000’s, it was rumored in the now defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), that there were over 50,000 Final Orders of Deportation for Cuban nationals in the US who had been convicted of felony offenses.
A LOT TO LOSE
If normal relations with Cuba point to the end of the outdated cold war relic called the “Cuban Refugee Act” and the ridiculous “Wet Foot Dry Foot “policy, then the US needs to be prepared for a potential mass migration from Cuba.