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Cuban Immigrants May Stop Getting Special Treatment

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.

The 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 statement.

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.