US immigration policy blamed for immigrant surge

On Sunday, Havana blamed Washington for the surge in the number of Cubans trying to get to the US by sea and land, saying that the unsafe and illegal immigration is encouraged by the policies pursued by the Obama administration.

Over the last two years, tens of thousands of Cuban immigrants have tried to get to the US by sea, or cross the border between Mexico and the US. They are afraid that the increasing thaw in relations between the US and Cuba will cause US policy to change in regards to Cuban immigration. The Cuban Adjustment Act, set in the 1960s, means that any citizen from the Communist country who sets foot on American soil is automatically allowed to remain.

A statement from the government by Colombia, which was broadcast on local media about the arrival of 14 deported Cubans, did not mince words. It called the Cubans the victims of the US government politicizing the  immigration issue and thus stimulating unsafe and illegal immigration. The government slammed the current policy, which they say is a contradiction of efforts to normalize relations between the two countries.

Last week, Colombia revealed that over 1000 Cubans attempting to get to the US were stuck in the country and would be deported. Columbia is the latest nation to begin cracking down on Cubans who visit the region legally but intend to pass through their territory to get to Mexico and then illegally enter the US.