Cuba is reported to be liberalizing its policies on issuing passports to its citizens so they can travel abroad, according to a Reuters report. So, expect to see a surge in Cubans showing up along the U.S. border seeking asylum.
Under current U.S. practice – termed the wet-foot, dry-foot policy – once Cubans set foot on U.S. soil they are paroled into the country and a year later become legal permanent residents as refugees under the terms of the Cuban Adjustment Act. We are still implementing a Cold War policy by considering all Cubans to be fleeing political persecution even though we know that is not true and are sending Cubans intercepted at sea back to Cuba.
What the new Cuban policy will mean is that it will be easier for more Cubans to travel as tourists to Mexico or Central America and then to make their way to the U.S. border. This liberalization by the Cuban government should be seen by the administration as an urgent warning to halt the discretionary program of waiving into the United States Cubans who arrive without legal entry permits. The Cuban Adjustment Act should be repealed also, but it becomes moot if the Cubans are not allowed to stay in the United States if they come illegally.