More than 3,500 Cubans have been rejected since October 2022 by the immigration authorities of the United States at the border of that country with Mexico, according to official sources.
According to data from the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP), cited by El Nuevo Herald, a total of 3,522 migrants from the island have not been admitted to U.S. territory since October 1, when this fiscal year began.
The vast majority of them tried to enter the United States through Laredo, in the state of Texas, reported the publication, which pointed out that El Paso (Texas), Tucson (Arizona) and San Diego (California) are other border posts through which the migrants try to enter regularly.
The number of Cubans rejected at the southern border is significant, although, El Herald recalled, it “is lower if compared proportionally with the 15,410 for the entire fiscal year 2017.”
The U.S. media also pointed out that the reduction in the flow of Cuban immigrants has been evident since in January 2017 former United States President Barack Obama (2009-2017) canceled the “wet foot/dry foot” policy decreed in 1995.
Since then, it added, all Cuban migrants must arrive in the country with legal documents, either by sea, air or land, and if they wish they must request political asylum under a credible fear of returning to Cuba argument and wait months detained in the United States without the certainty that the request will be approved.
In particular, since the lifting of the so-called Title 42 a few months ago, the U.S. authorities have insisted that under the current Title 8, those who cross the border illegally can be prosecuted, deported and prevented from entering the country for five years.
To the more than 3,500 Cubans rejected at the border in the current fiscal year are added the more than 6,800 rafters from the island intercepted in this period by the U.S. Coast Guard.
To avoid stopping the massive flow of Cubans to its territory, which in 2022 meant the entry of some 300,000 irregular migrants from the island to the United States, the Biden administration included Cuba in the humanitarian parole program established last January, which also benefits Haitians, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans.
According to a statement from the United States Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP), until the end of July, there were more than 181,000 people approved, of which some 41,000 were from Cuba.
As the U.S. authorities have highlighted, this program has significantly reduced irregular migration. Proof of this, they point out, is that in July the encounters between ports of entry along the border with Mexico had a 27% decrease compared to the same month last year.
However, even though it has been repeatedly defended by the government, the parole has garnered criticism from people from the beneficiary communities themselves, particularly the Cuban, who consider the approvals to date, as well as the mechanism and pace of approval, insufficient.
This program is also in the crosshairs of the Republican Party, which filed a lawsuit on behalf of the states in which it governs to stop its implementation and which is currently the center of a trial that is taking place in Texas.
In the midst of this context, independent media and unofficial sources have reported a new increase in the number of Cubans who are leaving the island, via Nicaragua or through other countries, to try to reach the U.S. border and try to enter that nation.
A few days ago, the United States authorities announced the resumption of the granting of B2 tourist visas for five years and with multiple entries for Cuban citizens, whose granting had been suspended since 2019.
However, the U.S. Embassy in Havana itself specified that, except for some exceptional cases, it currently does not process said non-immigrant visas for tourist trips, so those interested will have to request and process them in a third country.