Cuban immigration set to hit record levels

Cuban immigrants are heading to the United States in droves in 2016, with more having come to the country within the first two months of this year than in all of 2014. The figure for 2016, which so far stands at 25,806 as of February, could end up tripling the figure seen in 2015, according to a new analysis.

Data from a number of US Customs and Border Protection offices has been analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies, which found that the number of Cubans moving to the United States has dramatically increased. US policy means that any Cuban who actually sets foot on US soil will, unless they have a major criminal history, be automatically allowed to stay in the country and offered a pathway to citizenship.

The Center claims that Cubans arriving on the border immediately tell the guards that they are “here for Cuban Adjustment”. The new arrivals are fingerprinted and, once some basic background checks have been made, permitted to enter the United States as a parolee. In 2007, the number of Cuban immigrants coming to the US hit a then record high of 13,014, before falling in 2009. Since then, however, the number has risen every year, with 24,277 in 2014 and 43,154 last year.

If the current rate continues, 150,000 or more Cubans could be set to arrive in the United States by the end of this year, a figure experts blame on fear that the immigration policy in regards to Cuba could be set to change.