Obama administration ends "wet foot, dry foot" policy for Cubans
January 13, 2017
The Obama administration will end an immigration policy allowing Cuban nationals reaching US soil to apply for permanent residence after one year. The policy was first put in place by the Clinton administration in 1996. This policy was available to Cubans only. Immigrants from other countries in similar situation are generally subject to deportation.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also terminating a policy for Cuban medical professionals known as the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program. The policy allowed Cuban medical personnel studying or working in a third country under the direction of the Cuban government to enter the United States. DHS is also eliminating an exemption that prevented the use of expedited removal proceedings for Cubans apprehended at ports of entry or near the border. The Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program (CFRP) will remain in place. The program allows certain eligible U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply for parole for their family members in Cuba. If granted parole, they were allowed to enter United States without waiting for their immigrant visas to become available.
The end of the policy is the result of the Obama's rapprochement with Cuba. The repeal of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy is effective immediately. Official notification from the White House or DHS has not been released as of the publication of this article. We will update our posting as more information becomes available.