Monday, March 11, 2013

How to get a U.S. visa

If memory serves, not since 1994 have Cuban media given space to a U.S. official to explain migration procedures; in 1994 it was an appearance on Cuban television by Joseph Sullivan, then chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. 

Today, Granma’s fifth page is devoted entirely to an interview with U.S. Consul General Timothy Roche, who explains visa procedures.  With the end of Cuba’s exit permit requirement, the key issue for Cubans is how to get a visa to visit a foreign country or to emigrate.  Granma said that the U.S. Interests Section requested the interview.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The interview only gave information on how to obtain US visas.

It did not mention the fact that the modification of Cuba's emmigration procedures threaten to solve the excess supply of labor in the island and to obtain an increase supply of dollars by increasing the quantity of Cubans who enter the US without visas and increasing US unemployment and refugee benefits at a time when the US economy cannot afford it and is facing huge balance of payment deficits.

The question of what to do about the Cuban Adjustment Act in the coming immigration reform is the 800 pound gorilla in the room that everybody is interested in.

Should the CAA be:
1- Left as it is.
2- Eliminated.
3- Or be modified so as not to allow Cubans admitted to the US under its provisions to travel to the island until they become US citizens.

I favor abolishing the CAA and in its place increasing the number of temporary visas to the US granted to the island's residents.

As its most important benefit this would be a very humanitarian gesture since it would decrease the number of Cuban deaths in the high seas through drowning and devoured by sharks.

It would also lower the number of Cuban spies who enter the US and decrease crime on the high seas.

It would also keep more dissidents in the island where they could work in favor of reform instead of leaving the island and decreasing the opposition to the government.

These advantages by themselves should be enough to justify adopting the policies I suggest.

But these measures would also:
1- Not allow Cuban migration reform to affect US unemployment.
2- Reduce US refugee benefits and subsidies.
3- Lower present and future Cuban american remittances to the island
4- Decrease US balance of payments deficits.

They would also increase the number of the island residents who travel abroad and return to live there permanently (not just for short visits) bringing with them information that would help to destabilize the regime and promote democratic and free market reforms.

US immigration policies towards the island should not have the intended objective or unintended result of stimulating emmigration and depopulating it.

Instead it should be designed to help eventually bring about peaceful democratic reform in the island.

The only benefit of continuing the present US immigration policies after the recent Cuban migration reform is that the flood of refugees that would hit US shores in the near future would help to increase Cuban American vote for the Democratic Party in Florida and give the democratic party more rapid political control over that swing state in future presidential elections.

But IMHO the costs of kicking teh can down the road outweight the benefits of dumping it in teh garbage can and the modifications I suggested should be adopted.