Thursday, December 6, 2012

Disorder at the border

Cubans hold a very special and favored place in U.S. immigration policy.

If our policies toward Cubans – a tangle of ad hoc measures built up since the 1960’s – were magically wiped out and we had to start over, would we put current policies back in place?

I don’t think so, and I don’t think we should.  A fresh look, under today’s circumstances and taking into account the characteristics of today’s immigrants from Cuba, would argue for a major overhaul, as I argue in this new paper.

The paper also reports on recent changes to Cuban immigration and travel laws, which take effect next month.

Comments are welcome.


Anonymous said...

cuban people living in Mexico, xplain, etc, temporally are obligated to pay $ 65 USD for every month that they remain in the country that they are visiting. If they don't pay this ( ransom)? fee, after 9 months the "Cuban" government will not allow them to enter the island. If those people that remains in 3rd Countries are not allowed to comeback because they don't paid, or because they make strong press interviews and so on, what are their qualification as entrants to the USA? OH pleasse, stop the cinism. Cuban government have a dictatorship, the fact that certain people could or could'nt travel without the so call permit don't change anything. In the Ceausescu's
Romania the people also would travel to other Countries or received permission to emigrate and still. in Europe and USA they could get the humanitarian permission to stay.

brianmack said...

Well done report and thank you. The next few months
should be quite interesting. Highly recommend that anyone having an interest in Cuba read and comment.

Anonymous said...

to the first comment, cubans having to pay each month was a ridiculous charge, but it did have some basis in rationality, however you may disagree with it. that charge has been eliminated under the new regulations, so try to complain about something else. and that charge had nothing to do with the cuban adjustment act, giving cubans advantages that no other citizen from any other country has. it is the cuban adjustment act that is in desperate need for elimination, far more than any monthly charge the cubans were required to pay -- and that charge was never imposed consistently

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Peters,
I agree with your viewpoint that the Cuban Adjustment Act is obsolete and that it has to be eliminated.
But I also believe that the immigration policy towards Cuba has to be tweaked in response to the new Cuban regulations on immigration to limit the extra amount of foreign exchange the Cuban government could get as a result of it and to increase the subversive effect of traveling to the US.
It is true that the Cuban Adjustment Act :
1- Does not permit the US government to decide what Cuban it wants to allow into its territory.
2- Allows the Cuban government to easily infiltrate spies into the US.
3- Stimulates human trafficking and untold deaths in the high seas.
4- Provides a safety valve for the Cuban government since it motivates the dissatisfied members of the population to flee the island instead of becoming active members of the opposition.

It is also true that the Cuban government has liberalized its immigration policies to be able to allow part of its excessive supply of non qualified labor to leave the country, work abroad and supply an increased volume of remittances and expenditures during their visits to the island.

Also, that if the Cuban Adjustment Act continues to be administered in the same manner it is today, a great part of this additional volume of Cuban emigration is going to wind up in the US.

For all these reasons I agree with you that the Cuban Adjustment Act should be scrapped that the only Cubans that should be allowed to enter the US every year should be those granted by the US consular officials in the island or in other countries:

1- Permanent Entry Visas.
2- Temporary Entry Visas.
3- Refugee or Asylum Visas

This implies that all Cubans that appear on US shores or in any of its borders and airports or that overextend the duration of their temporary entry visas should be deported to the island.
Such a policy would not necessarily reduce the quantity of Cubans that enter the US every year since this would depend on US policy. However, it would allow the US government to regulate the quantity that it chose to allow with more efficiency.
The US Consular officials could then decide who they wanted to enter the US or not and to screen potential visa applicants to be able to reduce the number of spies and criminals entering the US.
The human trafficking and the death on the high seas would also cease and the applicants from the island that would be given refugee or asylum visas would be true victims of human right abuses.
The US would be able to regulate the number of potential opposition members leave Cuba and to set standards for granting them visas that are sufficiently high so that the opposition will not be left without leaders in the island.
The scrapping of the Cuban Adjustment Act would also stop the increased numbers of Cuban non qualified laborers who left the island for third countries to wind up in the United States since they would be deported when they reached US borders.

This would foil the Cuban Government’s plan to turn their excess labor into a source of foreign exchange and would also provide a greater supply of jobs for the US unemployed.


Anonymous said...

There is however a facet of the elimination of the Cuban Adjustment Act that you did not cover in your paper Mr. Peters.
This is how it would allow the US government to use the temporary entry visas to introduce new ideas and gradually modify the ideological outlook of the population of the island while simultaneously reducing the volume of dollars that flow into Cuba.

The elimination of the Cuban Exchange Act would allow the US government to increase considerably the number of Cuban who are allowed to spend time with their families in the US since they could now be deported when they overstayed their visas and prohibited from entering the US in the future. Also the families that sponsored the temporary visitors could be fined if their relatives overstayed their visas..
Such an increase in Cuban temporary visas to the United States would not increase the dollar income of the Cuban government since in the first place these temporary visitors would not be allowed to work while in the US.
On the contrary it would decrease the volume of remittances to Cuba and expenditures there since their families in the US would have to support them while they remained here and these family expenditures made in the US would not be available to spend or send to Cuba and would thus not hurt the US balance of payments.
At the same time an increased turnover in Cuban temporary visitors to the US who are sent back to Cuba after their temporary visa expires would increase the flow of ideas entering the island from abroad and help to break the Cuban government’s monopoly over information.
The increase of Cuban temporary visas to the US would have a similar ideological effect to that of the Cuban American visitors going to the island.
However, there would be one advantage to the temporary visas over the Cuban American visits. That would be that the indoctrination of the island’s population would, instead of resulting in an increased inflow of dollars to the island, would produce a decreased one.
Thus eliminating the Cuban Adjustment Act and increasing at the same time the number of temporary entry visa to Cubans would make it impossible to increase the number of Cubans that leave the island for third countries to enter the US, force the Cuban government to look for work for their excess volume of nonqualified labor elsewhere and cost them a loss in their dollar receipts instead of an increase.

Anonymous said...

In the last comment I forgot to mention that by eliminating "invitation letters", confiscation of personal property, extending the period a person can stay abroad without loosing his residence in the island, making it easy to renew the permit to remain abroad and eliminating the monthly payment to remain abroad, the Cuban government is attempting to stimulate petitions for temporary stays abroad and to allow Cubans that are on temporary stays in the US to use the Cuban adjustment act to become permanent US residents.

Such a policy would help turn the excess unqualified labor force into an asset as a source of foreign exchange increasing remittances and dollar expenditures of the Cuban Americans in the island.

It will also help accelerate the pace of ideological change in south Florida weakening rapidly the right wing pro embargo proclivities of the Cuban American community.

The change in the immigration law are seen as a way to use the provisions of the Cuban Adjustment Act in the totalitarian government's favor.

That is why the Cuban right wing in South Florida is doing an about face and calling for the rejectioon of the Cuban Adjustment Act since it now benefits the Castro regime and threatens to do away their political control over the Cuban American community.


Anonymous said...

Well, I certainly hope the right wing does lose control of the Cuban-American population. Now, that will be a welcomed change.

Anonymous said...

I agree but that will eventually happen anyway and I make a subjective cost benefit analysis that speeding this situation is not worth the yearly loss of human life in the high seas, the infiltration of spies, the increase in US unemployment, the additional amount of foreign exchange that the totalitarian Cuban government will receive and the worsening of the US balance of payments deficit that would be occasioned by the continuation of the Cuban Adjustment Act.

In my opinion the costs of continuing it are much greater than its benefits.

However, the results of your cost benefit analysis might be different than mine given the fact that all the factors I mentioned are difficult to measure and might have different weights for each of us.