According to the Miami HeraldCiting a “federal” source, between October 2021 and September 2022, nearly 200,000 refugees would have to leave the communist island for the United States. This is the new great wave of migration; a massive leak that follows the shortages Cubans had to face during the Covid crisis. In particular, they were completely cut off from international tourism, which usually brings in a lot of money.
Those fleeing are doing so despite the United States tightening admissions policies since 2016. After reopening the respective embassies between the two countries, Barack Obama theoretically ended the “wet feet, dry feet” policy that had governed Cuban immigration since the mid-1990s. This practice meant that if a Cuban was picked up at sea by the US Coast Guard, he was escorted back to Cuba. But if he managed to set foot on American territory and applied for political asylum, he was granted a resident card (after a year).
If there are still many who come to Florida by boat today, de facto in recent times Cubans have often reached the continent by crossing to South America or Central America, then they head to Mexico, from where they can reach the border of the American West by land, and avoid thus being intercepted at sea by the Florida Coast Guard. The Biden administration apparently welcomes asylum seekers there. On the other hand, during this eleven-month period, 5,000 Cubans who had fled to Florida were intercepted at sea and escorted back to their island.
Cuban immigration to the United States has always been regular, especially to Florida, but it has seen large waves. Just after the revolution in 1959, more than 250,000 Cubans immigrated, and another quarter of a million between 1965 and 1973. To this must be added the expulsion of supposed “counter-revolutionaries”. Between April and October 1980, for example, Fidel Castro expelled 125,000 of these fellow citizens, all of whom went to Florida (but he also expelled lunatics and drug dealers, which inspired the movie Scarface, for example). The wave of immigrants arriving this year is therefore greater than in 1980…