During the basic training for immigration officers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), the Immigration Officer's Basic Training Course (IOBTC), I had an instructor during the the follow-on Spanish language training, a Mexican-American Supervisory Immigration Inspector, then stationed in Miami, but on detail assignment at FLETC, who quipped that our Spanish language training was just enough to get us in trouble. While that did not happen, he also had another quip, Cuba Libre...Con Limon. This was of course a play and a dig at the special policy towards Cubans that existed until recently, and at an ex-wife who was Cubana.
Paul Nachman, disappointed like I am that Juan Mann is no longer writing on immigration law, ask if Federale can comment on the new, improved Obama Regime policy on Cuban refugees, asylum seekers, illegal aliens, immigrants, and any other name you can give to those who want to leave the pathetic s**t hole that Cuba is now. Cuba at one time was the leading light of the Americas; wealthy, a place Americans immigrated to, and sun-kissed. People wanted to go there even before air-conditioning. Nothing like a strong Caudillo to keep the riff-raff in line. I can also say that Juan Mann was my inspiration to report on the shenanigans in the immigration bureaucracy. I hope someone in the Trump Administration knows who Mann is, so he can be promoted to be the head of the Director of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Juan Mann, our nation's lonely eyes turn to you!
This enthusiasm among those in the trenches for actually enforcing our immigration laws brings to mind the website that used to be hosted by Juan Mann. Mr. Mann is a lawyer who wrote—presumably pseudonymously and apparently from inside the immigration bureaucracy—approximately 200 articles for VDARE.com. Memorably, he named his separate (and now defunct) website “Deport Aliens.” Using the Wayback Machine, you can still see what it looked like. (Ignore the fact that it displays the current date.)
And we can hope that VDARE.com’s current contributor and immigration-bureaucracy expert Federale will weigh in on whether there’s any catch in that “wet foot, dry foot” news.
[Immigration Officers At Mexican Border Cheer End Of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” Cuba Refugee Policy, by Paul Nachman, VDare, January 14, 2017]
And, surprise, there is a big catch in the wet food, dry foot news. There is no change in any material sense.
First, as I reported in VDare, the processing of illegal aliens' claims of asylum will continue without change. I even doubt that the apoplectic complaints of the Cubans attempting to enter the United States from Mexico. I just don't believe it. Mostly because it will make no real change in how Cubans are processed and admitted.
Secondly, the Obama Regime started changing this policy of returning all those who sought an EOIR hearing to Mexico to wait for that hearing. Instead, they used the cover of Credible Fear interviews included in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
This act, while instituting Expedited Removal (ER) also gave illegal aliens an exemption from ER if they claimed “credible fear of persecution “as part of an asylum claim. So, with what turned out to be any specious claim of persecution, an illegal could remain in the United States until he had an interview with an asylum officer and a hearing before the EOIR. Now, at the land borders, the policy continued to be that asylum claimants had to wait in Mexico for their credible fear interviews and any subsequent hearing before the EOIR.
However, the Obama Regime changed that, seeing an opportunity to make America browner and Elect A New People, by changing the policy of waiting in Mexico for interviews and hearing.
But even the Obama Regime was concerned about the recent flood, and changed the policy back to waiting for an initial interview, not the Credible Fear interview by an Asylum Officer, but a pre-screening interview by a CBP Officer.
[Making America Browner: Obama Regime Letting Haitians And Africans In Through Mexico, Federale, VDare, January 4, 2017]
Basically, the Obama Regime was encouraging illegal immigration by non-Mexicans through Mexico and entering at the land Ports-of-Entry (POE) on the U.S. Mexican border. Illegal aliens from Africa, Central America, or Cuba would show up at a POE on the southern border, such as El Paso or San Ysidro (San Diego), and be placed in removal proceedings, or in the case of Cubans, paroled. The Cuban Adjustment Act then applies, after one year of parole status, the Cubans would apply for legal permanent residency. All the others would generally be given an credible fear interview, then placed in removal proceedings when they fail the credible fear interview. The big change under the Obama Regime was that illegal aliens would be either paroled or taken into custody at the land border, when before they were returned to Mexico to wait for a hearing before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
But, apparently what is happening now is that Cubans who show up on a land border are processed for credible fear interviews, but held in custody. However, they can still claim asylum either if they are found to have credible fear or if not, before the EOIR. But in all cases they are apparently given the option of returning to Mexico or being taken into custody for proceedings. Those who feel they have a weak political asylum claim are taking the return to Mexico option.
Finally, they walked to the bridge with a Mexican relative to ask. In front of the turnstiles, a Mexican security official told them that if they tried to cross, they’d be turned away or taken into custody. “I’m not crossing just to be detained,” the Cuban man said.
So the man and woman turned around, and headed to the relative’s house in Torreón, unsure for the moment which country was home.
[Cubans Stranded On Mexican Border After Obama’s 11th-Hour Change, by Roque Planas, HuffPo, January 13, 2017]
So, what Cubans need to do now is apply for asylum like any other alien. The question as yet to be answered is will those in custody be released, and will that release be a parole. If those Cubans are paroled for any reason, including paroled to appear some years down the line before the EOIR, then after one year they still retain the right to apply for legal permanent residence under the Cuban Adjustment Act which gives an Cuban the right to apply for legal permanent residence after one year in the United States in any non-immigrant visa status or one year as a parolee.
The only change is that those who become "dry foot" will be placed in removal proceeding, during which they can apply for political asylum or during the process, if not held in custody, can wait in the United States in parole status for one year waiting for their EOIR appointment, usually scheduled many years in the future. And after that one year, they are home free.
So, the only change is a finger in the eye to the anti-communist policy of admitting all Cubans as refugees from Cuba. This is not any Obama concern about illegal aliens, but about his Communist ideology. And perhaps because so many Cubans in Florida voted for President-Elect Donald John Trump.