14ymedio, Havana, 4 April 2017 — Cubans living in the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo, who were stranded after the United States ended the Wet foot/Dry Foot policy that allowed Cubans who set foot on US soil to stay, may now apply for political asylum to regularize their situation in the country, according to the city’s mayor, Enrique Rivas Cueller, who spoke on Nuevo Laredo TV.
“We had a meeting where we had people from immigration, people from the state … all the actors from the federal government, to be able to give them a procedure. They are going to submit a request for political asylum and achieve their legal stay in the country,” explained Rivas Cuellar.
The municipal authorities estimate that there are currently between 500 and 1,000 Cuban migrants who could not continue their trip to the United States after the end of the previous US immigration policy.
The long stay in Nuevo Laredo to which migrants have been subjected has been a natural step for their integration into the city.
The municipal government will conduct a census of the Cubans in the city and, according to declarations of Rivas Cuellar in the newspaper Milenio, “many of them are participating in the economic activity, some have already developed some commerce,” which is why regulation is necessary.
“Even if they want to go to another city in the country where they intend to work or live, it will support them,” said the mayor, who said that many Cubans “are already regularizing themselves.”
The measure that the authorities of Nuevo Laredo intend to carry out is unprecedented in Mexican migration policy, as of 12 January of this year when they stopped issuing transit permits for Cuban migrants to transit through the country for 20 days as a legal way to reach the United States.
In its place, the Mexican Government has since passed the Immigration Law and, as of 18 February, 680 Cuban migrants found to be in different parts of Cuba illegally were repatriated to Cuba.