Should the Cuban Adjustment Act Get the Axe?

By Circles Robinson

Cuban rafters trying to reach the USA and take advantage of the Cuban Adjustment Act. Photo: Duke University Library

HAVANA TIMES — Over five decades, the Cuban Adjustment Act, which puts Cuban immigrants in a category of their own, has helped many hundreds of thousands relocate in the United States with fast-track residency and financial assistance – advantages that other immigrants could only dream of.

There is also a darker side to the law: it has fomented human trafficking and dangerous travel in unfit vessels across the Caribbean sea. Untold hundreds of thousands have perished in this way.

Now that the Obama and Castro governments have restored diplomatic relations, and made travel abroad easier since 2013, should the special US law for Cubans be repealed?

The issue is a hot potato in US politics.

Those in favor of repealing the Act include right-wing Cuban-American congresspeople such as presidential candidate Marco Rubio, and the Cuban government, although for different reasons.

Cuban-Americans on the right say that the law is being abused by people claiming a persecution that doesn’t exist and then frequently visiting the island once their green card is issued, disproving their initial claim. They say that without the law “real” dissidents facing persecution could still apply for US asylum.

On the Cuban government side, the Act is considered a tool to foment dangerous, sometimes deadly, migration.

Those in favor of maintaining the law include a large segment of the Cuban population. Given the economic difficulties in Cuba, large numbers of Cubans would love to gain US residency, especially since they can now do so without losing their property and other rights as a Cuban, as was the case for over five decades.

There is speculation that the Cuban Adjustment Act has been one of several topics discussed in the secret meetings between US and Cuban officials. Even though the White House has said the law is not under consideration, fear that it might be repealed has led to a documented increase in rafters hoping to get in before it’s too late.

So what do you think should happen to the Cuban Adjustment Act? Please write in your opinion. We will see to it that it gets read.

10 thoughts on “Should the Cuban Adjustment Act Get the Axe?

  • August 6, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    A private market that allows for individual control of their labor is economic democracy. People voting with their labor is as democratic as it gets.

  • August 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Silly comment. The CUBAN PEOPLE have not had a say in determining what they want since 1959. You would know that if you actually knew any Cuban people or had ever visited the island yourself.

  • August 5, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Good idea,
    If they work capitalism/the private market into the Cuban economy in a large enough way, perhaps one day soon Cuba could be as economically healthy as Puerto Rico.
    Democracy would be better and that specifically means in the economic sector.
    You will wind up backsliding into exploitive capitalism once you start down a path in which accumulating wealth becomes the end-all be-all in life and all hopes for a democratic society die as the totalitarianism that IS free-enterprise capitalism (FEC) gets its claws into any given society.
    It is how it has worked out in the vast majority of the world’s FEC economies since its inception.
    FEC always moves toward increased totalitarianism and never toward more democratic or participatory forms.
    That’s what you’ll get .

  • August 5, 2015 at 10:43 am

    The underlying problem , IMO is that the Cuban people insist on keeping what they have rather than capitulate to U.S. (imperial) demands and annoyingly, despite what you sub-humans inflict upon them.
    So the GOUSA and those like you keep trying to make things worse for all the people of Cuba ( except your close relatives) .
    What would you like to do if they persist in holding out ?
    Nuke them ? .
    After all the GOUSA nuked Japan and killed a few million southeast Asians not all that long ago and look how close we are now with them now.
    It would seem carpet-bombing or nukes would be YOUR (il) logical next step..

  • August 2, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    The majority of the Cubans who defected at the Toronto Pan Am Games, will by this time be in the US having taken advantage of the CAA and having dry feet.
    My personal view based upon spending much time at home in Cuba, is that little is changing within Cuba and that the Castro family regime will not relinquish any of its power and control.
    There is much optimism in the media world and amongst people of good will, that change is about to take place, but such views are based upon living at a distance from the reality of life in Cuba.
    The economic model is the one declared by Marino Murillo and approved at the Communist Party of Cuba Congress of January 2015 and wishful thinking does not change that!

  • August 1, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Senator Marco Rubio and the Cuban goverrnment on the same side of this issue spells the end of the Cuban Adjustment Act.
    We need a Cuban adjustment act from Cuba to deal fairly with the Cubans that wish to return.

  • July 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Agreed, the central issue of embargo and nationalized property settlement should first be resolved. It would be good to see personal freedom advanced, but I would settle for continued changes in economic model establishing private market.

  • July 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    The original Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 allowed Cubans to become permanent residents if they had been present in the United States for at least 2 years. The Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1976 (P.L. 94-571) reduced this time to one year. Caps on immigration do not apply and it is not necessary that the applicant use a family-based or employment-based immigrant visa petition.

    Two other immigration rules are also waived. Unlike other immigrants, Cubans are not required to enter the United States at a port-of-entry. Second, being a public charge doesn’t make a Cuban ineligible to become a permanent resident.

  • July 29, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    The Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), Public Law 89-732, is a United States federal law enacted on November 2, 1966. Passed by the 89th United States Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, the law applies to any native or citizen of Cuba who has been inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States after January 1, 1959 and has been physically present for at least one year; and is admissible to the United States as a permanent resident.

  • July 29, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Is there no one willing to acknowledge the elephant in the room? If there was no reason to leave Cuba in the first place, the CAA would not be an issue. Solve the underlying problem first.

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