Two Congressmen in Texas have introduced legislation to repeal the preferential law that allows Cubans to become permanent residents of the United States if they so much as set foot in the country. Republican Representative Blake Farenthold and Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar said yesterday that the amount of Cubans that have entered the state over the course of the last few months has increased by as much as 60 percent.
Farenthold says that the preferential immigration law no longer makes any sense in a world where diplomatic relations with Cuba have been restored by President Barack Obama. The Correcting Unfair Benefits for Aliens Act was introduced just one day after the President’s historic visit to the island nation came to an end.
Cuban immigrants are currently heading to Texas and California in their thousands, with the reinstatement of diplomatic ties between the two countries last year having already instilled fear in many that the preferential Cuban Adjustment Act would eventually be repealed. The “wet foot/dry foot” law allows Cubans trying to get to the United States who are intercepted at sea to be turned back, but those who actually arrive on US soil must be allowed to stay.
Cuellar says that the existing law is a relic of the Cold War and a bygone age and pointed out that thousands of immigrants are fleeing from real threats in Central America, yet are disadvantaged when compared to those coming from Cuba.