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Tags: dhs | mayorkas | haiti | cuba | us | migrants

DHS Secretary Mayorkas to Haitians, Cubans: Don't Sail to US

DHS Secretary Mayorkas to Haitians, Cubans: Don't Sail to US
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. (Moises Castillo/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 15 July 2021 11:31 AM EDT

The Biden administration is warning Haitians and Cubans not to attempt to flee to the U.S. amid a surge of migrants at the southern border.

The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and rare Cuban protests over food and vaccine shortages and a worsening economy in the communist country have inspired natives of both nations to take to the water aiming for America.

"Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday, according to CNN.

Mayorkas emphasized that any migrant, "regardless of their nationality," will not be permitted to enter the U.S., CNN reported.

A Cuban-American who fled the island as a child with his parents, Mayorkas called his statement a "humanitarian message," according to The Hill.

"It is a long-standing message from the United States, and the reality of it is that when people take to the sea, they put their lives in tremendous peril," he told CNN on Thursday. "Just in the last few weeks, we have seen approximately 20 people lose their lives by taking to the sea.

"It is extraordinarily dangerous. It is not worth the risk, and consistent with long standing practice, people will be returned. One cannot take to the sea and come to the United States, it won't work."

Former President Barack Obama ended the "wet foot, dry foot" policy that allowed Cubans who reached the U.S. shoreline to remain and seek an expedited path to citizenship.

Mayorkas said migrants arriving in the U.S. by sea will be returned to their home country, or, if they can prove they'd be in danger, will be sent to a third country.

CNN reported that Cubans have been coming to the U.S.-Mexico border in larger numbers, with Border Patrol officials arresting more than 2,600 in May. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, arrests of Cubans hovered between 300 to 500 between October and December 2019, according to fiscal year 2020 data.

Cuban authorities confirmed that one person died during demonstrations that have shaken the island in recent days.

Demonstrations that erupted Sunday have seen thousands of Cubans in the streets voicing grievances against shortages of goods, rising prices, and power cuts, and some protesters have called for a change of government.

In Haiti, an escalation in gang violence threatens to complicate efforts to recover from the brazen slaying last week of Moïse.

The Haitian government was in disarray, with no parliament, no president, a dispute over who is prime minister, a weak police force. But the gangs seem more organized and powerful than ever.

In May, Customs and Border Protection encountered 180,034 migrants — compared to 23,237 the same month in 2020 — trying to cross the southern border, with 110,400 returned to Mexico under Title 42, which allows border patrol agents to expel migrants due to COVID-19.

Sen. Ted Cruz and several other prominent Republican senators planned to introduce a bill that would extend the health safety policy.

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Politics
The Biden administration is warning Haitians and Cubans not to attempt to flee to the U.S. amid a surge of migrants at the southern border.
dhs, mayorkas, haiti, cuba, us, migrants
498
2021-31-15
Thursday, 15 July 2021 11:31 AM
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