New Rule for Cubans Set to be Deported From U.S.

New Rule for Cubans

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has changed a rule regarding Cubans who have been tagged for deportation. Foreign nationals set to be deported are either detained until their deportation date or they are given orders to report to an immigration center to be deported. If they do not report, they are considered criminals and a warrant is issued for their arrest. Two-thirds of Cuban immigrants reside in Florida—approximately 1 million--which is where the change in the ICE rule applies. Those Cuban immigrants who have been ordered to report for deportation, rather than reporting to an immigration center in downtown Miami as was previously the case, are now required to travel to the next county of Miramar to an immigration office there. ICE commented on the change of rules, saying that the Miami office was reserved for those who have been detained while the Miramar office is now for Cuban immigrants who have been ordered to report for deportation.

Only about 3,000 Cubans have actually been deported in the last 30 years, though 30,000 have been ordered to do so. This is due to a sort of unwritten immigration law that discourages deportation of Cubans and rather treats them as refugees. The vast majority, of Cubans who have been deported were what is known as “Mariel Cubans.” Mariel Cubans are a group of Cuban refugees who, for six month period in 1980, were granted permission by Fidel Castro’s government to leave Cuba if they so desired as a result of a sharp economic downturn on the island nation. This was during a relatively good time in Cuban-American relations where Castro lifted many restrictions on his people. Thousands of Cubans participated in a mass exodus from the Cuban port of Mariel, many of them emigrating to Peru and various other Central and South American nations, but quite a few turned to the U.S. It is perhaps conspiracy that Castro purposefully included criminals and mental patients in the boats to the U.S. but that is the rumor that circulated throughout America as these refugees began arriving on U.S. shores. As a result, the relatively good relationship between the U.S. and Cuba declined and the Mariel Cubans were ordered to be deported. There are now only 900 Mariel Cubans left in the U.S.

Since the beginning of fiscal year 2011, almost 89,000 citizens of Caribbean, Central and South American nations have been deported—a record. A little over 2,000 of those were citizens of Caribbean nations with the Dominican Republic receiving the most of their citizens back at 1,066 and Jamaica the second-most with 528. Generally, those given orders for deportation are as a result of criminal activity. The Obama administration has drastically stepped-up deportations in response to political pressure from Republicans and their constituents to deal with the illegal immigration issue. Since taking office, Obama has deported almost 800,000 foreign nationals and increased funding and manpower to Customs and Border enforcement agencies.