Friday, August 8, 2008

The southern route to la Yuma

The Herald’s Cuban Colada has the latest figures on Cubans entering the United States via the Mexican border: 7,267 in fiscal year 2005, 8.639 in 2006, 11,487 in 2007, and 8.829 in 2008, with two months left in the fiscal year, which ends September 30. By comparison, the United States admits about 20,000 Cubans annually, in various visa categories, through the U.S. consulate in Havana.

Cuba and Mexico have been negotiating a migration accord, and according to La Jornada, talks will resume this month with an eye to signing an agreement in September. An apparent sticking point, the article says, has to do with repatriation: Cuba is reportedly willing to accept those that arrive in Mexico directly from Cuba, but is not willing to accept those that travel to Mexico from third countries. The article says that Cubans arriving from third countries are “the largest part of the flow of illegal migrants from the island.”

Part of the flow of Cuban migrants to the United States, both through Mexico and directly across the Straits, involves smuggling operations, This Herald story tells how the Feds are cracking down on these operations in south Florida. And it shows how the smugglers operate; in one case, smugglers demanded payment from a Miami family before they would turn over the relatives they had brought from Cuba. They now face charges for both alien smuggling and hostage taking.


Anonymous said...

What are the actual numbers of visas the US consulate has given to Cubans for immigration for the past year? My understanding is that is has always been well below the 20,000 agreed upon, and that the US also counts all those Cubans who arrive in US as dry foot are counted among that 20,000. Where would I find the govt figures/

Phil Peters said...

I'll see if I can find them. In recent years it has been around 20,000 per year with variations -- I'm referring to those who get visas at the consulate to emigrate (refugee, family unification, bombo, etc.) and those who show up on shore or at the Mexico border without visa are not included. The US commitment in the migration accords is to grant about 20,000 per year.