Cubans Ordered for Deportation Face New Rules
There has been a minor adjustment in how Cubans tagged for deportation will comply with their deportation orders. Instead of reporting to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in downtown Miami, Cubans who have been ordered to be deported will have to travel across county lines to an ICE office in Miramar County to be compliant. While Cubans facing deportation represent the largest group of Caribbean nationals, those from Caribbean countries other than Cuba facing deportation must also report to the Miramar office. The reason for this, according to ICE, is that they have designated the Miami office for Caribbean nationals tagged for deportation who are detained and the Miramar office for Caribbean nationals tagged for deportation who are not detained. This change will affect approximately 30,000 Cuban nationals who have been ordered for deportation. While these Cubans must report to the Miramar office, an inconvenience considering two-thirds of Cuban nationals live in Florida (around 1 million) with the majority of those occupying Miami, it is unlikely that many of them will actually be deported back to Cuba.
Since Fidel Castro took control of the Caribbean island nation of Cuba in 1976, Cubans have regularly streamed into the U.S. looking to escape the Communist regime. And while 30,000 of these Cubans have been ordered for deportation, less than 3,000 have actually been deported as the U.S. unofficially has a policy of treating them as refugees rather than illegal immigrants. Many of them make the 90 mile trip from Cuba to Florida on makeshift rafts that they ride across the ocean. Almost all of the Cubans who have actually been deported were part of a group known as “Mariel Cubans” because they floated here from the port of Mariel, Cuba in 1980 when Fidel Castro told his citizens that they were free to leave if they wanted due to a sharp economic decline in the country. Though it is up for speculation, some assert that Castro deliberately planted numerous criminals, mental patients, and other “undesirables” on the boats to the U.S. in an effort to discourage the U.S. from openly accepting Cubans into the country. However, the rumors of this occurrence resulted in the deportation of 2,740 Mariel Cubans and currently only 900 remain in the U.S. The U.S. has stated that they will begin removing Cubans en masse once “democracy reigns in Cuba.”
This does not apply to other Caribbean nations, however, and slightly more than 2,000 Caribbean nationals have been deported over the last six months. Over half of those were sent to the Dominican Republic, 528 of them were deported to Jamaica, 125 to Trinidad and Tobago with various other Caribbean countries receiving less than 100 of their citizens back. Haiti has only received 50 deportees as tens of thousands of Haitians have been granted refugee and temporary residence status in the U.S. due to the earthquake that ravaged their country in 2010. The country receiving the most deportees from the U.S. of any country in the world within the last six months was Mexico, receiving over 70,000 deportees.