Cuban Migration to US Nearly Doubles in Latest Quarter of two thousand fifteen

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 8:42 PM

S. by ft and sea in the latest three months of two thousand fifteen as in the same period the year earlier, the northbound exodus swelling after the restoration of diplomatic relations and amid fears of the loss of migration privileges.

Nearly twice as many Cuban migrants reached the U. S. by ft and sea in the latest three months of two thousand fifteen as in the same period the year earlier, the northbound exodus swelling after the restoration of diplomatic relations and amid fears of the loss of migration privileges.

Dept of Homeland Security figures indicate about 17.000 Cubans reached the United States from Oct through December. Slightly more than 9.200 Cuban migrants arrived during the same months in two thousand fourteen.

The surge has been driven in portion by Cubans' fears that warmer ties between the governments, announced in December 2014, imply they could lose privileges that presently let them stay in the United States if they reach American soil — a policy originally based on the assumption those fleeing Cuba were largely political refugees.

The Obama administration says it doesn't map to modify U. S.-Cuba immigration policy, but some lawmakers wish to finish the privileges for migrants from the island.

Most of the Cuban migrants are arriving at U. S. border checkpoints in TX after traveling by plane, bus and ft through Central America. More than 43.000 Cubans arrived in the U. S. in the two thousand fifteen monetary year ending in September.

Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have fled the island since the one thousand nine hundred fifty-nine revolution, largely by plane through family reunification programs but also on perilous, homemade rafts. Three years ago, the communist government did far with a hated exit permit, allowing many Cubans to travel to countries such as Ecuador and then create a long, frequently dangerous, journey through Central America to the U. S. border with Texas. Ecuador began requiring visas for Cubans late latest year, effectively blocking the route to most would-be migrants.

Nicaragua began refusing passage to Cuban migrants in November, leaving about 8.000 migrants stuck in Costa Rica. In March, the latest direct flight carrying the stranded migrants from Costa Rica arrived in Mexico.

The latest statistics wouldn't yet reflect whether the migration has decreased in response to efforts to clamp down on it.

Andy Gomez, a retired Univ of Miami Cuba scholar, said he expects the no of Cuban migrants arriving through Central America to decline in the months ahead, though he speculated those with family in the U. S. will continue to discover ways to get there.

He said repeal of the Cuban Adjustment Act that gives Cuban migrants privileges over those from other nations remains unlikely given the current election year.

"They cannot deal with the Cuban Adjustment Act without dealing with immigration reform, and nobody wants to touch it," he said.

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Chase Christine Armario on Twitter at: http://www. twitter. com/cearmario

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