The Obama Administration has repealed the 2004 Bush rules that imposed new restrictions on Cuban American family visits.
The Treasury Department action is explained here (pdf). It liberalizes Cuban American travel significantly but falls short of the Obama campaign promise to “immediately allow unlimited family travel and remittances to the island.”
Today’s regulatory action quickly cleared up a strange situation created by the Cuba family travel provision in the catch-all 2009 appropriations bill that the President signed today. This new law didn’t repeal the Bush regulations; it simply bars the government from enforcing them until October 1. That’s why the owner of a
Now, Cuban Americans no longer need to apply for and obtain a Treasury license to travel, they may visit family once per year, there is no limit on the length of their visits, and they may seek permission for additional visits. And the narrow Bush definition of family has been repealed; it now includes, in addition to immediate family, “‘close relatives,’ defined as any individual related to the traveler by blood, marriage, or adoption who is no more than three generations removed from the traveler or from a common ancestor with the traveler.”
Plus, there’s good news for those who have relatives in
This is a good, humane move. But President Obama, what about the rest of us?