The New York Times Editorial Board on December 21 called for the U.S. to end its special immigration programs for Cubans. It, therefore, joins the criticism of such policies by the Cuban Government.
With respect to the so-called “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy, the editorial notes that the recent exodus of many Cubans through Ecuador and Central America in attempts to reach the U.S. highlights the need for an immediate end to that policy. Even if Congress does not repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act that grants Cubans in the U.S. the right to apply for permanent residency after one year of such presence, the following can and should be done:
- Because that Act does not require the U.S. to grant all Cubans who arrive here by land parole status, the U.S. Administration should stop doing so and instead only grant such status to those Cubans who demonstrate a ”credible”” fear of persecution in Cuba., which is a preliminary step for a subsequent application for asylum requiring a “well-founded” fear of such persecution.
- Cuba should agree to accept the return of those Cubans denied entry into the U.S. and the roughly 34,000 Cubans n U.S. prisons for conviction of crimes in this country..
- The U.S. should “continue to admit a high number of Cuban immigrants who apply for visas [at the U.S. Embassy in] Havana, giving priority to those who have legitimate persecution claims and those who have family members in the [U.S.].
- “The Obama administration should negotiate a new agreement with the Cuban government that makes orderly immigration the norm.”
With respect to the U.S. “Cuban Medical Professionals Parole Program,” the editorial calls for its immediate termination and for Cuba to end its new requirement for exit visa for such personnel.
As previous posts demonstrate, I concur in these recommendations.
 Editorial: A New Cuban Exodus, N.Y. Times (Dec. 21, 2015). The most recent of many Cuban demands for ending these U.S. immigration programs was in President Raúl Castro’s December 18th speech to his country.
 The Times recently published an article about the Cuban Medical Personnel Parole Program: Burnett & Robles, U.S. and Cuba at Odds Over Exodus of the Island’s Doctors, N.Y. Times (Dec. 19, 2015).
 E.g., Results of U.S.-Cuba Discussions After Ceremonial Opening of U.S. Embassy in Havana (Aug. 18, 2015; New York Times Calls for End of U.S. Program for Special Immigration Relief for Cuban Medical Personnel (Nov. 23, 2014).