Is it time to end 'instant amnesty' for Cubans?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

Cuba and U.S. flags 620x300An immigration reform organization says Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Cuba is another reason for repealing the decades-old Cuban Adjustment Act.

The visit, scheduled for March 21-22, will be the first to Cuba by a sitting U.S. president in 88 years. It is being viewed as another step in the Obama administration's ongoing efforts to normalize diplomatic relations with the communist island nation.

Ira Mehlman says the president's historic visit indicates substantive political change in Cuba that should result in the repeal of outdated immigration policies like the Cuban Adjustment Act. Under that policy, Cuban nationals who set foot in the United States are allowed to remain and adjust to permanent resident status after one year.

Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, explains that the policy, which was instituted in 1966 at the height of the Cold War, hasn't led to democratization in the island nation.

Mehlman, Ira (Federation for American Immigration Reform)"The only thing it has done is [impose] greater burdens on the United States and probably drained away the people in Cuba who might have brought about some kind of political transformation in that country," he adds.

And the policy isn't fair to potential immigrants from other countries, he adds. "Even under [Cuban President] Raul Castro, Cuba is not paradise," says the FAIR spokesman, "but it isn't any worse than a lot of other countries – and we should not have a separate immigration policy simply for one country."

Mehlman says while the Obama administration has indicated it doesn't intend to change the migratory status of Cubans in the near future, Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) has introduced legislation that would repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act.

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