On Monday, President Obama made history when he visited Cuba and walked
alongside Cuba’s President Raul Castro. Obama’s visit to the
Communist nation may change the way America treats Cuban immigrants.
Within days of Obama’s groundbreaking trip to Cuba, two Texas congressmen,
Reps. Blake Farenthold, R – Corpus Christi, and Henry Cueller, D-Laredo,
introduced legislation that would revoke the special immigration treatment
of Cubans that come to the U.S.
According to the bipartisan pair, by Obama resuming diplomatic relations
with Cuba, there’s no longer a need for the Cuban Adjustment Act
of 1966, which offers Cuban immigrants
asylum, a fast track to U.S. citizenship, and federal benefits.
If their measure passes, it would unravel the special treatment afforded
to Cubans seeking asylum.
Cuellar called the longstanding policies that have aided Cubans “relics
of a bygone era and a Cold War that has long since passed.”
Just days after the president’s visit to Cuba, the congressmen proposed
Correcting Unfair Benefits for Aliens – the CUBA Act. A timely proposal
since Obama’s visit to the Communist country was meant to repair
Cuba’s relationship with America after a political divide that lasted
more than 50 years.
The CUBA Act is merely one of several bills related to Cuban trade and
immigration that are before the House.
On the trip to Cuba, the president was accompanied by three Texas Democrats,
including Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas and Reps. Al Green and
Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston.
Dallas Morning News could not reach any of the reps for comment on the CUBA Act, but before
the bill was introduced on Wednesday, each spoke about the business opportunities
that Cuba offered to Texans, and they said that the visit would ease the
relations between Cuba and America.
According to Farenthold, the influx of Cuban immigration through the Mexican
border is the driving force behind Wednesday’s proposal.
“We should hold all immigrants to the same standards in order to
ensure the safety and vitality of our communities,” he said in a
In 2015, there was a 78 percent increase in Cubans who entered the U.S.
over 2014, according to the
Pew Research Center. In 2015, about two-thirds of the Cubans who entered the U.S., entered
though the U.S. Border Patrol in Laredo, according to Pew’s report.
At The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, we will be paying close attention to
any changes in America’s
immigration policies relating to Cuba.
Contact our office to meet with a Plano immigration lawyer.