Tags: Barack Obama | Cuba | Immigration | Marco Rubio | marco rubio | barack obama | cuba

Marco Rubio Slams Obama on Ending Cuban Immigration Policy: 'Absurd'

Image: Marco Rubio Slams Obama on Ending Cuban Immigration Policy: 'Absurd'

Sen. Marco Rubio (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 10:49 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio Thursday ripped the Obama's administration's decision tying the elimination of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy of Cuban immigration with normalizing diplomatic relations with the Castro regime as "absurd."

"While I have acknowledged the need to reform the Cuban Adjustment Act for some time now, the Obama administration’s characterization of this change as part of the ongoing normalization with the Castro regime is absurd," the Florida Republican said in a statement. "It is, in fact, President [Barack] Obama's failed Cuba policy, combined with the Castro regime’s increased repression, has led to a rise in Cuban migration since 2014."

The White House announced the immediate repeal of the law, which granted automatic residency to virtually every Cuban who arrived in the United States — whether or not they had visas — that was a longstanding exception to U.S. immigration policy.

The policy, formerly known as the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1996, allowed any Cuban who reached U.S. soil to stay but returned any picked up at sea.

Cuban officials had sought the change for years — and the change had been in the works for months.

The repeal also includes an agreement from Havana to allow those turned away from the United States to return.

In addition, the Department of Homeland Security also ended a parole program that allowed Cuban medical professionals to enter the country.

The program was unpopular with Cuban officials because it prompted doctors to leave, sapping the country's pool of trained healthcare workers.

"The Cuban Adjustment Act has provided countless Cubans the opportunity to escape the Castro tyranny," Rubio said. "However, in recent years it has also led to growing abuses.

"While some changes were needed, we must work to ensure that Cubans who arrive here to escape political persecution are not summarily returned to the regime, and that they are given a fair opportunity to apply for and receive political asylum."

Regarding the end of the program for medical professionals, Rubio said that he was "concerned" by the White House's decision.

"For decades, the Castro regime has forced thousands of doctors to go abroad as a tool of its foreign policy," he said. "This is political repression — and I am optimistic that the incoming Trump administration will reverse this part of the executive order and allow these doctors to seek asylum at U.S. embassies or consulates in other countries."

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Sen. Marco Rubio Thursday ripped the Obama's administration's decision tying the elimination of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy of Cuban immigration with normalizing diplomatic relations with the Castro regime as "absurd."
marco rubio, barack obama, cuba, immigration, policy
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2017-49-12
Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 10:49 PM
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