Cuban immigrants are streaming to the United States this year, with more people having arrived in the U.S. in the first two months of 2016 than all of 2014. An analysis predicts the 2016 figure, which stood at 25,806 through February, could end up being more than three times the 2015 number.
The Center for Immigration Studies
examined data from several U.S. Customs and Border Protection field offices and discovered the rate of Cubans coming to America is dramatically rising.
The so-called "wet feet, dry feet" policy allows Cubans who successfully make it to the United States, whether by land or by sea, to be admitted. Barring any major problems like a serious criminal history, they are allowed into the U.S. and given a path to citizenship.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, Cubans who arrive at the border say to border guards, "Estoy aquí para Ajuste Cubano" — which means, "I am here for Cuban Adjustment."
After some basic background checks, they are fingerprinted and allowed to enter the U.S. as a parolee.
The number of Cubans entering the U.S. hit 13,014 in 2007 before dropping 7,054 in 2009. The number has risen every year since, with 24,277 coming in 2014 and 43,154 entering the country in 2015.
At the current rate, there could be 150,000 or more Cubans arriving in the U.S. in 2016.
Experts believe the surge in Cuban immigrants
could be due to people thinking the "wet feet, dry feet" policy could change, now that the U.S. and Cuba have restored diplomatic relations.
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