With an unprecedented swell of Cuban migrants flooding to the United States, a new report sheds light on the human side of the issue.
cites federal figures that show a drastic increase in the number of Cubans who have immigrated to the U.S. in one of two ways: by land or by sea. Humanitarian flights have helped their cause, ferrying Cubans stranded in Panama to Mexico after some Central American countries closed their borders to deal with the immigration crisis that has people flowing through from south to north, with the U.S. serving as their intended destination.
And in the case of Cubans, if they can successfully reach the U.S. border, U.S. policy states they are to be admitted and given a path to earning a green card — and, eventually, U.S. citizenship.
Political issues and disagreements aside, the recent surge in Cubans entering the U.S
. — more than 35,000 have arrived since Oct. 1, 2015 — has created a humanitarian crisis of sorts. With so many people, Americans are opening up their homes, churches, and wallets to help the Cubans get on their feet.
CNN reports that many of the Cubans coming to the U.S. are highly skilled workers in fields such as cooking, engineering, and computers.
Most of them, however, start out their life in the U.S. by cooking at shelters, opening a Facebook account, and plotting ways to reach their loved ones who are already in the U.S.
"It's been a roller coaster," Veronica Román, who runs a community center to welcome Cubans into the U.S. in El Paso, Texas, told CNN. "It's a lot of mixed emotions when you hear their stories. ... You say, 'Wow, I'm taking my freedom for granted.'"
The parents of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who unsuccessfully ran for president in the Republican primary, came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1956.
"We are seeing an historic increase in the number of people crossing the Mexico-U.S. border who are originally from Cuba," Rubio said on the Senate floor
earlier this month.
"We have seen an increase in the number of rafters. Just a week ago, there was a standoff between the Coast Guard and some Cuban migrants who went up to a lighthouse and wouldn't come down because they wanted to get the status under the 'wet foot, dry foot' policy."
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