Skip to main content

What Does Obama’s Reversal of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” Mean for Cuban Exiles?

With just eight days left in his administration, Barack Obama has introduced yet another profound change to U.S. immigration policies. President Obama has reversed the 1995 “wet foot, dry foot” policy that granted permanent residency to Cubans who reached the United States after they were in the country for a year and a day.

Effective immediately, Cubans who try to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal. According to the Sun Sentinel, the move followed several months of negotiations between Cuba and the United States, and it is a stepping stone toward an end of hostilities between the two countries.

If you or a loved one is facing removal proceedings, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. There are a myriad of strategies available to fight or delay deportation proceedings. For example, you may qualify for asylum or withholding of removal, or even a stay of removal. The best way to learn your options is to discuss your case with an immigration lawyer.

Charles Kuck is an immigration attorney in Atlanta who will compassionately represent your interests. Call 404-816-8611 today to schedule a consultation. You can also visit to learn more about U.S. immigration laws.

Will the Reversal of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” Survive the Trump Presidency?

Although President-elect Trump has not announced his policy toward Cuba, the reversal of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” will be a matter of contention when he enters The Oval Office. On one hand, Trump promised to fight hard for Cubans before his election; on the other, the reversal of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” complements his commitment to stopping illegal immigration to the United States.

Not All Cubans Are Unhappy with the Policy Change

Unsurprisingly, many Cubans were distraught after learning about the reversal of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot.” However, some of the older exiles are in favor of the decision. They assert that, while Cubans who fled the country decades ago were trying to escape political repression, younger Cubans who enter the United States are more motivated by economic interests.

According to the Miami Herald, at least 54,000 Cubans entered the United States through border points or by sea without visas in 2016, which makes the repeal of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” arguably the most profound change to U.S. immigration policy during the Obama Administration.

Who Qualifies for Asylum in the United States?

As previously mentioned, the reversal of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” will not affect Cubans who qualify for humanitarian relief. However, there are strict eligibility requirements that must be met in order to qualify for asylum. Just because a person has a general fear of dangerous conditions in a country or a person is involved in a private dispute does not mean that he or she qualifies for asylum.

However, you may qualify if you are unable or unwilling to return to your home country due to past persecution related to:

Political opinion; or
Membership in a particular social group.

If you would like to find out if you or a loved one qualifies for asylum in the United States, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer in Atlanta.


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…
Si usted es inmigrante (incluso un ciudadano de los EE.UU.), aquí hay 9 cosas que usted debe saber.

¿Es usted un ciudadano estadounidense naturalizado, residente legal permanente, titular de una visa o inmigrante indocumentado? Le recomendamos que tome los siguientes pasos para protegerse de nuestra versión actual de América.
Las últimas semanas hemos recordado a los inmigrantes, incluso a los ciudadanos estadounidenses naturalizados, que no nacieron en los Estados Unidos. Nuestra oficina ha recibido innumerables llamadas telefónicas, mensajes de correo electrónico y mensajes de medios sociales de personas preocupadas por el futuro de su familia en los Estados Unidos.
La mayoría de gente quiere saber qué puede hacer ahora para protegerse de lo que promete ser una ola de actividad anti-inmigración por parte del gobierno federal. La orden ejecutiva de Trump sobre la aplicación de la ley interior tiene algunas disposiciones que deberían hacer temblar a la mayoría de los estadounidenses. …
THE WAIT IS OVER --- Expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program is Finally Here!!

As we all know, in 2013, USCIS implemented the I-601a Provisional Waiver Program, which allows the spouses of U.S. citizens to file their waiver applications requesting forgiveness for their unlawful presence here in the United States, await an approval, and then depart for their scheduled interview only after the waiver is approved.This was a significant change in the law because families were separated for a much shorter period of time, and there was much less fear associated with having to depart the U.S. for an interview – they knew they would be able to return with a green card. The biggest downside of this newly implemented waiver was that it was only made available to spouses and children of U.S. citizens.Until now!

What does this latest announcement mean?

Until today’s announcement, only certain classes of immediate relatives with qualifying relatives (U.S. citizen spouses and parents) were eligi…