HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — The United States and Cuba will hold on November 30 in Washington at their regular biannual meeting on migration in the midst of the current Cuban migrant crisis in Central America.
“The delegations will discuss the continued implementation of the migration accords between the US and Cuba, which facilitate the orderly, safe and legal migration of Cubans to the United States,” reads a statement from the US State Department.
Monday’s meeting will occur while over 3,000 Cubans who left the island with the desire to reach the United States remain stranded on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
The last round of talks was held in January in Havana. The meeting scheduled in July in Washington was suspended as it coincided with the opening of embassies, symbolic step since resuming diplomatic relations after more than half a century of ideological confrontation.
Far from slowing the wave of Cuban immigration to the United States, the thaw in relations has significantly increased. The border posts are registering record numbers.
Many Cubans fear the rapprochement between the two countries will lead to changes in the Cuban Adjustment Act, which gives preferential treatment to Cuban migrants who arrive legally or illegally to the United States.
One year after stepping on American soil Cubans can apply for permanent residency, a benefit that no other immigrant group enjoys.
Last week, the government of Cuba blamed the crisis in Central America on the migration policies of the United States.
“These citizens are victims of the politicization of the immigration issue by the Government of the United States, the Cuban Adjustment Act and in particular the implementation of the policy called ‘wet foot-dry foot’ ”, stated the Ministry of Cuban Foreign Affairs. The migrants are stranded in Costa Rica, as Nicaragua refuses to give them passage.
The “wet foot-dry foot” policy allows Cubans who set foot on US soil to stay in the country and apply for their residency. Those who are caught at sea are repatriated.
The Obama administration insists that the Adjustment Act will be maintained. “The restoration of diplomatic relations, the reopening of embassies and the long process of normalization of relations has not changed the US policy regarding Cuban immigration,” reiterated the State Department on Wednesday.
Delegations from the two countries will also hold talks on December 1 in Washington on drug trafficking, with the aim to curb the illegal flow of drugs between the two countries.
See the results of the meeting here.