Latin American officials met this week rejecting U.S. immigration policy towards Cuba.
(Telesur) – Member nations of the Central American Integration System, known as SICA, unanimously rejected U.S. immigration policy toward Cuba during an emergency summit, Cuban media outlet Granma reported on Thursday.
The emergency summit took place as Nicaraguan officials closed the border with neighboring Costa Rica to stem Cuban migration after a recent surge of arrivals of Cubans looking to enter the United States.
Since 1966, the United States has had a policy of granting U.S. residency to Cubans who reach the U.S. soil – commonly known as the “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy.
SICA’s pro tempore president, Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez, said, “It’s not these two or three thousand people, but the unilateral measures adopted which encourage the migration of citizens from one country.”
The Salvadoran official called on all parties to address the situation involving Cuban immigrants, which has left more than 3,000 Cubans stranded on the Costa Rica- Nicaragua border.
During the meeting, the Nicaraguan delegation defended its decision barring Cuban immigrants entry on the grounds of national sovereignty, agreeing with Cuba’s position that the incident is being fueled by U.S. government policies.
The U.S. still abides by its Cold War-era immigration policies towards Cubans. Under the “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy, any Cuban who successfully touches down on U.S. soil is able to gain permanent residency after being present in the U.S. for one year, while those who are found at sea are immediately returned to Cuba.
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