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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Thousands of Cuban refugees expected to arrive in El Paso

    Thousands of Cuban refugees expected to arrive in El Paso

    BY JILLIAN FERTIG TUESDAY, MAY 10TH 2016






    EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — The Houchen Center is getting ready to receive as many as 3,000 Cuban refugees, according to the center's director Veronica Roman.

    Roman got the call Saturday.
    Roman picked up 50 refugees from an El Paso port of entry Tuesday after they had traveled for two days.

    The refugees are expected to stay at the Houchen Center for the next couple of days as the center helps them get to their family members living in the U.S. or help find a place for them to go.


    Some of the immigrants traveled from Cuba to South America and then to Mexico before arriving in El Paso.


    A number of them were hungry.


    Roman said the center could receive hundreds more later in the week, including women and children.


    She adds that this is the biggest group the center has ever had. She says they need the bare essentials to house them.


    "My volunteers are going on two hours of sleep. The community can help by donating food, clothes, blankets, diapers and baby food," said Roman.


    There's no word yet on when the next group will be here.


    View image on Twitter





    Jillian Fertig ‎@JillianKFOX_CBS

    50 refugees from Cuba arrived at the Houchen Community Center in El Paso this morning. @KFOX14
    11:15 AM - 10 May 2016


    According to Roman, U.S. Customs and Border Protection determines whether immigrants can cross the border.

    CBP says they've seen a large influx of Cuban immigrants along this part of the border.

    They also said anyone who applies to enter the U.S. at the ports of entry from Juarez are processed.

    One immigrant told KFOX14 a lot of Cubans are fleeing from political corruption in Cuba.


    Catch more of the interview with a refugee who says he's been traveling to get to the U.S. since February to escape Cuba, tonight on KFOX14 News at Nine.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection released the following statement when KFOX14 asked why Cubans are crossing through Texas.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is prepared to process the expected increase in Cubans applying for admission at El Paso area ports of entry. CBP officers will process Cuban nationals in accordance with established procedures as expeditiously as possible while maintaining requirements and standards for individuals in our care. CBP continues to work with our federal, state and local partners to minimize the impact to everyday trade and travel.

    CBP Cuban processing background:


    • A Cuban citizen presents themselves for admission at a port of entry. The Cuban citizen must provide proof of their Cuban citizenship such as a Cuban passport, birth certificate. The burden of proof rests on the Cuban national to prove citizenship.
    • Once citizenship is established, CBP officers ask if they are a member of the Cuban regime, work for the Cuban government, among other questions.
    • CBP officers next take biometric finger scans of the subject and check against CBP's national law enforcement databases. If no derogatory information is returned, the process continues.
    • At the conclusion of the interview process, if no derogatory information is returned, such as criminal or existing U.S. immigration history or otherwise disqualifying factors are established, i.e. membership in Castro regime, use of fraudulent documents, etc. the person is processed for parole.

    • The CBP officer issues the traveler an I-94 parole document with the subject's temporary alien number written on the back. The parole document is valid for two years. At the completion of one year after inspection and admission to the U.S., the Cuban national may apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for adjustment of status under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act (CRAA) in order to submit an application for permanent U.S. residency.

    • The entire process takes approximately one hour per person


    http://kfoxtv.com/news/local/thousan...ive-in-el-paso
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    MW
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    This just doesn't make any damn sense! When the U.S. Coast Guard catches them in U.S. waters, they're not allowed on American soil and are immediately returned to Cuba. So why are they allowed to simply provide a birth certificate or passport for access at our border?
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MW View Post
    This just doesn't make any damn sense! When the U.S. Coast Guard catches them in U.S. waters, they're not allowed on American soil and are immediately returned to Cuba. So why are they allowed to simply provide a birth certificate or passport for access at our border?
    The Wet Foot-Dry Foot Law.
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    Cuban immigrants arriving in El Paso are being "paroled"

    Panama now flying stranded Cuban immigrants to U.S.-Mexico Border


    Staff Report

    POSTED: 12:56 PM MDT May 10, 2016 UPDATED: 06:35 PM MDT May 10, 2016

    Thousands of Cubans arriving in El Paso

    EL PASO, Texas -Cubans immigrants arriving at El Paso ports of entry are being "paroled" and not being held at any government facility, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    ABC-7 has learned Cubans who don't have family or friends in El Paso are being allowed to seek shelter at the Houchen Community Center in the South Side. The immigrants may stay there or be sent to other shelters.

    This week, Panama closed its border to Cuban immigrants trying to make their way north to the United States. The Central American country is flying Cubans who already made it into the country to the U.S.-Mexico border.

    About 3,500 Cubans are expected to arrive in El Paso in the next several weeks. About 150 arrived Monday night and 50 are at the Houchen Community Center."They've been surviving on water. So we're offering them just a place to sleep just a space to take a shower and then to eat," said Veronica Roman, the center's Executive Director.

    Roman said they're expecting pregnant women and women with children. She's concerned because she says she's seen people approach the migrants - offering them rides to other cities for hundreds of dollars.

    Herenia Gonzalez and her husband Alvaro will stay at Houchen Tuesday night and plan to travel to Miami Wednesday to meet family. They said they've wanted to come to the U.S. since they were children because of the "American Dream."

    Alvaro said they're fleeing a repressive government that forbids freedom of speech and other basic liberties. Herenia said she wants to study and work.

    ABC-7 City Rep. Peter Svarzbein was at Houchen on Tuesday donating his father's shoes. Svarzbein's father was an immigrant turned doctor who died two weeks ago. "Whether it was my father coming from argentina in the 70s or someone coming in 2016 seeking political asylum, the immigrant story is the story of America providing a place of hope and betterment for future generations," he said.

    Roman said the Community center needs baby food, diapers, blankets, clothes and volunteers who are willing to drive to the ports of entry and pick up the migrants or help at the center.

    Panama's President, Juan Carlos Varela, said Monday he had agreed with his Mexican counterpart to fly 3,800 Cubans already stranded for weeks while trying to get to the U.S.

    Varela says it was a difficult decision, but necessary because Nicaragua closed its border to Cubans last year and impeded their journey north. Varela says the flights could last two or three weeks.

    Cubans are admitted to the United States if they get to the border. They have been arriving in greater numbers because they fear warming relations between the U.S. and Cuba could end the so-called "exceptional policy."

    Under this policy, a Cuban citizen arriving at a U.S. port of entry must provide proof of their Cuban citizenship such as a Cuban passport or a birth certificate.

    Once citizenship is established, CBP officers ask if they are a member of the Cuban regime or if they work for the Cuban government, among other questions.

    CBP officers take the person's fingerprints and run the biometric data in national law enforcement databases. If no criminal or derogatory information is found, the person is processed for parole.

    The CBP officer issues the traveler an I-94 parole document with the person's temporary alien number written on the back. The parole document is valid for two years.

    At the completion of one year after inspection and admission to the U.S., the Cuban national may apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for adjustment of status under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act (CRAA) in order to submit an application for permanent U.S. residency.

    http://www.kvia.com/news/cuban-immig...ities/39472868

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Wet feet, dry feet policy

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    Cuba is 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Florida

    The wet foot, dry foot policy is the name given to a consequence of the 1995 revision of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 that essentially says that anyone who fled Cuba and entered the United States would be allowed to pursue residency a year later. After talks with the Cuban government, the Clinton administration came to an agreement with Cuba that it would stop admitting people intercepted in U.S. waters. Since then, in what has become known as the "Wet foot, Dry foot" policy, a Cuban caught on the waters between the two nations (with "wet feet") would summarily be sent home or to a third country. One who makes it to shore ("dry feet") gets a chance to remain in the United States, and later would qualify for expedited "legal permanent resident" status and eventually U.S. citizenship.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_feet,_dry_feet_policy

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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe2 View Post
    The Wet Foot-Dry Foot Law.
    I'm familiar with the law, but it doesn't explain why we're allowing them to cross the border. What law actually gives CBP the authority to parole them into the United States? These folks are not crossing illegally, they are walking right through a CBP manned entry point with permission.

    Another thing, why is Mexico being complicit in this game by allowing them to reach our border? We should refuse them entry and make them Mexico's problem.
    Last edited by MW; 05-11-2016 at 09:15 PM.
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    Feds open Texas border to 4,000 Cubans, security interview lasts just 1 hour before r
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    Cuban refugees arriving in El Paso getting lost

    BY GENEVIEVE CURTIS
    FRIDAY, MAY 13TH 2016




    People at the Bridge of the Americas


    EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — The first wave of what could become thousands of Cuban refugees have begun arriving in El Paso. Four thousand expected in the next two weeks.

    KFOX14 discovered refugees are arriving confused and lost.


    Volunteers at the Houchen Center drove around Friday afternoon looking for Cuban immigrants who have just arrived and have nowhere to go. They said they have no way of knowing when the planes are arriving and when the immigrants are coming.


    "Its very hit or miss," said Ray Dominguez, a volunteer.


    They said some of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents are giving immigrants information on where to go, but that's not always the case.


    "A lot of them are walking around downtown. We've actually heard some are walking to the Houchen Center. A lot are getting taxis, because taxicab drivers are offering to take them," said Dominguez.


    Volunteers are patrolling the bridges trying to help as many refugees as they can and take them to a shelter but said it's difficult because Cuban immigrants are entering at every bridge.


    "There's a lot of miscommunication," said Dominguez.

    Friday evening, KFOX14 met Robbie Rosales at the Bridge of the Ameridas. "I lived 11 months in Ecuador "Rosales said. "I've, traveled for two months before getting here to the United States."

    It's been a long and difficult journey to reach the United States.


    "To get here has been very hard. We've traveled through the jungle, and they've robbed many of us.

    Some women have been raped. They've treated us bad and have taken things from us, all so that we can fulfill our American dream," said Rosales.


    Friday night, he waited at the bridge for his friends to join him.


    "It's every Cuban's American dream. For the opportunities that are available for Cubans and everyone else who wants to come to this country. To make our dreams come true," said Rosales.


    He has no idea what time his friends will arrive or where they will stay Friday night.


    Rosales had no idea there are organization like the Houchen Center, the Annunciation House and the Catholic Diocese that are ready and able to help.


    "I am unfamiliar with everything here, so I'm trying to investigate. I really don't know anyone here in Texas, so I can't take the risk. I have no one to help me. The person helping me is in New York," said Rosales.


    Dominguez said they are finding that to often be the case.


    The refugees don't know about the organizations ready to help. So volunteers continue to drive around.


    "People are coming from a whole other world. We're trying to be here as much as we can in order to facilitate this to be a little quicker," said Dominguez.


    Unfortunately, volunteers said there have already been instances of unscrupulous people picking up Cubans, robbing them and leaving them on the side of the road


    Rosales said he is the only one in his family now in the United States.


    "I want to work and eventually bring my family here in the future," said Rosales.


    His journey isn't quite over yet, but now his American dream is just starting.


    "I want to thank the government and all the Americans for giving us the opportunity to get to this country to pursue our dreams," said Rosales.


    Luckily, many of the Cubans that are already in El Paso that are staying at the Houchen Center have been able to tell volunteers when their friends or their families are coming in. They've been able to communicate via phone, and so that's been one way volunteers know when to head to the bridge.


    "The first thing they want to do when they get here is get on Facebook and send messages to their family," said Dominguez.


    The Houchen Center and the Annunciation House are need of volunteers, according to spokeswoman for the diocese's Elizabeth O'Hara. She said personal hygiene products can dropped off at the Houchen Center at 609 Tays or Annunication House 1003 E. San Antonio.

    Bus tickets for the refugees can also be donated. The Houchen Center is working with Tornado Bus Line to purchase discounted tickets for the refugees. If anyone wants to buy bus tickets, they need the name of the traveler. Those who want to make those purchases can do so by making a check to the Diocese of El Paso.

    Please designate the check as being for Cuban refugee relief.


    For more info on volunteering, product drop-off and bus tickets, call Annunication House at 915-545-4509.

    http://kfoxtv.com/news/local/cuban-r...o-getting-lost

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