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U.S. deports first Cubans since end of ‘wet foot, dry foot’

U.S. deports first Cubans since end of ‘wet foot, dry foot’
BY NORA GÁMEZ TORRES
ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com

Two Cuban women who were deemed “inadmissible” for entry to the United
States were placed on a morning flight to Havana on Friday, becoming the
first to be deported since the Jan. 12 elimination of an immigration
policy known as “wet foot, dry foot.”

“This morning U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 2 Cuban
nationals to Havana,” said a statement from ICE.

An ICE official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that
this is the first “removal flight” involving Cubans since the change in
immigration policy.

A few days before leaving the White House, former President Barack Obama
declared an end to “wet foot, dry foot,” which allowed most Cubans who
made it to U.S. soil to stay.

ICE did not specify when or where the women arrived in the United
States. But Wilfredo Allen, the attorney for one of the women, told el
Nuevo Herald that they had arrived at Miami International Airport with
European passports.

The women requested asylum and were detained. According to Allen, they
asked to suspend their asylum application and voluntarily return to the
island, for which they already had return tickets.

“The fact that ICE deported them even though they asked to return
voluntarily sends a negative message,” Allen said.

Last week, ICE told el Nuevo Herald that it had detained 172 Cubans
after the policy change. The number of pending asylum cases has not been
disclosed.

Also on Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard returned 11 Cubans intercepted at
sea to Bahía de Cabañas, west of Havana. According to the Coast Guard,
the flow of Cuban migrants trying to cross the Florida Straits to reach
the U.S. has decreased significantly after the elimination of “wet foot,
dry foot.”

Source: U.S. deports first Cubans since end of ‘wet foot, dry foot’ |
Miami Herald –
www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article133422234.html

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