Sunday, December 6, 2015
Nick Miroff in the Washington Post reports that, in the year after President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced their plans to normalize relations, we have seen an increase in the number of Cubans trying to get to the United States. The number of unauthorized Cubans arriving in the United States nearly doubled in fiscal 2015, rising to 43,159 from 24,278 the previous year and the increase may be accelerating. The vast majority are coming not in rickety boats or rafts but right through U.S. ports of entry at the border with Mexico.
Combined with the more than 20,000 who are issued immigration visas annually under existing accords, it amounts to the largest influx of Cubans into the United States in decades. “It is three times as large as the rafter crisis of 1994,” said Miami immigration lawyer Wilfredo Allen. Not since the Mariel boatlift of 1980, he said, when 125,000 landed in South Florida, have so many Cubans headed north.