As President Obama Visits Cuba, Congress Should Repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act, Says FAIR
As President Obama becomes the first U.S. leader to set foot in Cuba in nearly 90 years, it is also time for Congress to repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act. While Cuba remains far from an enlightened democracy, the conditions that lead most Cubans to migrate to the United States are economic, not political.
- Dan Stein, President of FAIR
(March 21, 2016 — Washington, D.C.) - President Obama’s visit to Cuba marks a historic rapprochement with that nation that should also signal the end to the half century old Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), declared the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
The Cold War-era Cuban Adjustment Act created what amounts to a separate immigration policy for citizens of that nation. The Act provides immigration benefits to Cuban migrants not offered to citizens of any other country. Cuban nationals who set foot in the United States are allowed to remain and can adjust to permanent resident status after one year.
“As President Obama becomes the first U.S. leader to set foot in Cuba in nearly 90 years, it is also time for Congress repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act. While Cuba remains far from an enlightened democracy, the conditions that lead most Cubans to migrate to the United States are economic, not political,” argued Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “In that respect, Cuban migrants are no different from many millions of other people around the world who would like to settle in the U.S.”
A recent investigative report by the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel confirmed that poor economic conditions in Cuba and generous the generous benefits offered to Cuban nationals under the CAA is driving a new wave of migration. Dispelling the idea that most Cubans migrants are fleeing political oppression in their homeland, the report indicated that many return to that country after qualifying for a variety of American benefit programs.
“With the restoration of diplomatic and economic ties between the U.S. and Cuba, the CAA is more indefensible than ever,” continued Stein. “It failed in its original objective of weakening the Castro regime. Fifty years later it is an outdated and unfair policy that results in unnecessary burdens on American taxpayers.
“From a humanitarian and foreign policy perspective, our goal should be to encourage and promote true political and economic reform in Cuba. Maintaining a failed Cold War policy that encourages people to leave Cuba neither benefits the United States, nor promotes the prospects for real reform in that country,” concluded Stein.