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Thread: Cubans in Nuevo Laredo after end of “wet foot, dry foot” have gone, many to the U.S.

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Cubans in Nuevo Laredo after end of “wet foot, dry foot” have gone, many to the U.S.

    Cubans who arrived in Nuevo Laredo after end of “wet foot, dry foot” have gone, many to the U.S.

    By Aaron Nelsen
    September 16, 2017



    Photo: Bob Owen, Staff / San Antonio Express-News

    Cubans stranded in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico kneel in prayer before a rally and marching from Plaza Juarez to the International Bridge, on Saturday, April. 8, 2017.


    NUEVO LAREDO — Nearly all of the Cubans have gone.

    Their absence is felt in the migrant shelters of this border city, and in its plazas where their rapid-fire speech is no longer heard.


    “There might be a few dozen of us Cubans left in town,” said Lourdes de la Torre, a 49-year-old accountant from Camaguey. “Little by little, they’ve all gone.”


    More than 112,000 Cubans have coursed through Nuevo Laredo since 2012, the vast majority of them crossing a pedestrian bridge into Texas. A decades-old rule known as the “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy had allowed Cubans to become permanent residents a year after making landfall in the United States.

    But on Jan. 12, amid thawing relations between Washington and Havana, President Barack Obama ended the policy devised in 1995 under the Cuban Adjustment Act, marooning thousands of Cubans still trying to reach the U.S.-Mexico border. In December 2016, there were 4,601 Cubans who crossed at the Laredo bridge. That plummeted to just 53 in February.


    Within a few weeks, more than 1,000 Cubans were bottled up in Nuevo Laredo, unable to cross into the United States. At first, they lingered near the pedestrian bridge that connects downtown Laredo with downtown Nuevo Laredo, and in Nuevo Laredo city plazas, hoping for a policy reversal. As the weeks bled into months, the Cubans fanned out across the city, taking refuge in churches, migrant shelters, hotels and apartments. When the flow of humanitarian aid ran dry, some found work to survive.


    De la Torre was sleeping on a crowded hotel room floor, pooling her money with others to buy food. She found a hole-in-the-wall location to open a restaurant, which she named Cubanito. The restaurant employed five, offering Cuban-style shredded beef, fried bananas, black beans and rice. It became a curiosity around town.


    But by April, many Cubans had grown restless. A peaceful demonstration near the border quickly escalated when a group of Cubans moved their protest to the international bridge. Mexican soldiers armed with rifles turned back the protesters. A smaller group slipped past the soldiers, but were told by CBP officers that the bridge was closed to them.


    It seemed to be a stalemate. But slowly, quietly, the Cubans began to move on. Some applied for political asylum in Mexico. Others moved to communities less under the influence of organized crime. And in the last four months, more than 1,000 have turned themselves over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and made their way into the United States after all.


    De la Torre said her chef handed in his apron and crossed the bridge into Laredo. The rest of the staff left soon after, leaving her little choice but to close Cubanito. It was a bittersweet turning point.


    Cubans can still request political asylum in the U.S. by expressing a “credible fear” of being returned to the communist island, only now they’re not granted automatic entry. They are detained by immigration officials while their request is processed, as is anyone else seeking asylum. Some will be sent to a detention facility; others could be released pending adjudication of their case. Some might even be sent back.

    After Obama’s decision, Lorenzo Ortiz, 50, a pastor from Emanuel Baptist Church in Laredo, began taking van loads of food to the desperate Cubans stuck here. Now he helps Cubans released from immigrant detention in Texas, providing them with temporary housing in Laredo.


    “There wasn’t enough work for them in Nuevo Laredo, and the safety conditions weren’t very good,” Ortiz said. “About 90 percent decided go after the American dream, and take the risk of being deported.”


    Around 60 Cubans were in Nuevo Laredo last week. New arrivals head straight for the bridge and ask for asylum. A family of five who said they were fleeing religious persecution in Cuba are now staying with Ortiz temporarily, pending the continuation of their journey to Florida.


    For her part, de la Torre decided not to move. She’s one of the Cubans who has applied for asylum in Mexico.


    “I’m staying here,” de la Torre said. With her daughter and granddaughter living in Houston, however, she still has dreams of a reunion. “One day I will go, perhaps.”

    http://www.expressnews.com/news/loca...f-12203575.php

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    KEEP THEM OUT!

    LOAD UP MILITARY TRANSPORT PLANES TO GITMO AND BUS THEM OUT THE FRONT GATE

    WE CANNOT TAKE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD'S POPULATION
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Send 'em back. Now. Turn 'em right around and get them out of here.
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