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October 17, 2007

Fleeing to U.S., Cubans’ First Stop Is Often Mexico

By Marc Lacey, Published: October 16, 2007

"CORTÉS, Cuba — Cubans are migrating to the United States in the greatest numbers in over a decade, and for most of them the new way to get north is first to head west — to Mexico — in a convoluted route that avoids the United States Coast Guard.

American officials say the migration, which has grown into a multimillion-dollar-a-year smuggling enterprise, has risen sharply because many Cubans have lost hope that Raúl Castro, who took over as president from his brother Fidel in 2006, will make changes that will improve their lives. Cuban authorities contend that the migration is more economic than political and is fueled by Washington’s policy of rewarding Cubans who enter the United States illegally.

In fact, unlike Mexicans, Central Americans and others heading to the southwestern border of the United States, the Cubans do not have to sneak across. They just walk right up to United States authorities at the border, benefiting from lax Mexican enforcement and relying on Washington’s “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which gives them the ability to become permanent residents if they can reach United States soil...".

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/16/world/americas/16cuba.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&th&emc=th

Posted by VisaLawyer at October 17, 2007 08:26 AM

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