With the Obama administration's effort to restore the United States government's diplomatic ties with Cuba has come an increase of Cuban immigrants to America, according to a new report.
cites documents that show Cubans have flocked to the U.S. ever since President Barack Obama said he would work to improve relations between the countries in December 2014.
Except for one quarter, the number of migrants from the island nation has risen steadily since the announcement. Fox reports that 5,770 Cubans came to the U.S. it the three months before the announcement, while the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015 saw 14,114 migrants come to America's borders.
U.S. policy toward Cuban migrants is to allow defectors who reach the U.S. to stay and apply for a green card after one year. That can eventually lead to becoming a permanent U.S. citizen. Experts think the surge in numbers is due to people thinking that policy may change and become stricter.
"We are seeing an influx of Cubans at the Texas-Mexico border who are immediately admitted to this country and have an extremely fast pathway to citizenship," Rep. Blake Farenthol (R-Texas) said, according to the Times.
"With President Obama restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, the immigration preferential treatment given to Cubans … no longer makes sense."
Cuban migrants have been traveling through Central America
instead of covering the 90-mile distance across the Gulf of Mexico because they can travel to Ecuador without a passport. A 2,000-mile journey on land to the U.S.-Mexico border follows.
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