Last April, President Obama announced that he would issue rules removing all restrictions on family travel. Lots of media reports say that policy is now in effect, but that’s not the case because the Treasury Department has not issued regulations to carry it out.
While we wait for those regulations to be issued, the policy that is in effect is one that was created by Congress last March. It repealed the Bush rules for family visits (once every three years, no exceptions for additional trips) and replaced it with a new rule allowing visits once every year no questions asked, and permitting additional trips if travelers obtain a license from the government.
Now the nice folks at Treasury have issued a directive (pdf) that defines the criteria for those additional trips, including a form where a traveler has to check two boxes. The criteria are not very daunting; they could have made it simpler with one box and a statement, “I’m Cuban American, I went once this year, and I feel like going again.”
The effect is that, except for having to fill out the form and wait for a license to arrive in the mail, travel has effectively been deregulated for Cuban Americans.
That’s nice, President Obama, but what about the rest of the country?