US to reject asylum seekers by sea from Cuba and Haiti to other countries

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Alejandro Mayorkas was born in Cuba eleven months after the 1959 revolution led by the late President Fidel Castro and the July 26 movement. His parents emigrated to the United States a year later with him and his sister.

Asylum seekers trying to reach the United States from Cuba and Haiti by sea will be arrested and deported to third countries, US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday.

He warned Cuban anti-Communist activists – backed by the White House – and those fleeing chaos in Haiti after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise that they were not welcome in the United States.

“Let me be clear: if you go to sea, you won’t come to the United States,” Mayorkas insisted.

The United States has long followed the so-called “wet feet, dry feet” policy towards Cuban immigrants, deporting them if they are intercepted at sea but granting them asylum if they make it ashore.

“Any migrant intercepted at sea, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to enter the United States,” Mayorkas warned. “This risk is not worth taking.”

And the head of internal security, himself a Cuban immigrant, said authorities would send asylum seekers to other countries to deal with – a controversial new trend in the treatment of refugees and political dissidents. .

“If individuals do, establish a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for resettlement,” Mayorkas said. “They will not enter the United States.”

Regional destabilization

Small anti-government protests erupted in Cuba over the weekend, prompting larger back-marches of support for the government. President Miguel Diaz Canel spoke to protesters in the street on Sunday to hear their grievances, but Monday he said they were organized by “a group of counterrevolutionaries and mercenaries paid by the US government.”

A man, identified as Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, was killed on Monday in a clash between police and a group of men armed with knives vandalizing houses in the town of La Güinera. Several rioters and police were also injured. The governments of Russia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Bolivia have all denounced attempts at destabilization in Cuba.

US President Joe Biden supported the protests in a statement Monday.

“We stand by the Cuban people and their clear call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and the decades of repression and economic suffering to which it has been subjected by the authoritarian regime in Cuba,” he said. Biden said.

Haitian President Moise became the latest in a long line of leaders of a country to be assassinated or violently dismissed last week when a large group of Colombian mercenaries and Haitian-American citizens forced their way into his home. and shot him dead, also seriously injuring his wife Martine. .

Haitian election minister Mathias Pierre said days later that a request had been made for the United States to deploy troops to protect “infrastructure” amid the unrest.

Mayorkas was born in Cuba eleven months after the 1959 revolution led by the late President Fidel Castro and the July 26 movement. His parents emigrated to the United States a year later with him and his sister – months after the United States imposed the still-existing economic blockade on the Caribbean island nation, but before the failed attempt to Bay of Pigs invasion in Washington.

Biden, who pointed out Mayorkas in January, was Barack Obama’s vice president when Washington embarked on a program of limited detente with Havana from 2014 to 2016. This included the release and return to Cuba of the last of the “Miami”. Five, “who were arrested in 1998 and later jailed after denouncing anti-Communist terrorist networks operating in Florida. Cuba simultaneously released Washington’s double agent Rolando Sarraff Trujillo in the United States.

Biden’s government also rescinded a policy of his predecessor Donald Trump that asylum seekers arriving from Mexico were housed there until their hearing date.


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