‘El Nuevo Herald’ Asks Obama To ‘Open The Door’ To Stranded Cubans’ / 14ymedio

Thousands of Cubans were trapped in Central America following the announcement of the elimination of the wet foot/dry foot policy. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 14 January 2017 — An editorial in El Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald asks Barack Obama to open the door to Cubans stranded in Central America and Mexico after his “sudden decision” to end the wet foot/dry foot policy. The text, published Friday, says that the presidential order “has had unexpected consequences that will lead to unwarranted human suffering.”

The newspaper notes that the US decision to withdraw the automatic entry into its territory of Cubans, “has left thousands of Cubans stuck in transit at the Mexican border, on the Florida Straits and even at Miami International Airport.”

The editorial chronicles the tragedy of some families who “were separated simply because of bad timing — some family members were processed through Border Patrol before the president’s order took effect while their relatives were still in line.” A situation that has left migrants “stuck in limbo” who, “if they return to Cuba, they will not be treated kindly, and they cannot stay in Central America or Mexico for long without facing deportation.”

Obama “should amend his order and allow in anyone who has proof that they left Cuba by January 12.”

The Cuban authorities, however, have stressed that returned persons “will rejoin society normally unless they have committed a crime during their irregular immigration process or have debts with justice.”

El Nuevo Herald believes that the US president “can help” and should “modify his order and allow in anyone who has proof they left Cuba by January 12.” An opportunity for the current president to end his term with “a humanitarian gesture.”

The South Florida newspaper calls for just such a step, as migrants “were not given any warning this would occur as they were making their long journey from Cuba.” The paper says, “there is no turning back for them. They bet their future on the promise of America, just as so many others from so many other countries have done.”

The elimination of the Parole Program for Cuban Medical Professionals is also strongly criticized in the text, which calls for extending “a generous hand” to those health professionals and “giving them entry into the United States.”

The editorial boards of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald are seeking “a small window of opportunity for Cubans standing face-to-face with a shut door.” Should Obama not live up to their expectations, they look to “President-elect Donald Trump to show mercy and amend the order.”

The text clarifies that, “once those who are in transit have arrived, the door can be closed” and calls for “beginning the difficult task of carrying out a real immigration reform that will continue to promise the opportunities of the American dream.”

Cuban migrants stranded on their way to the United States “should have the opportunity to finish their trip,” the editorial concludes.

Translator’s note: This translation uses the Miami Herald version of the statements in the editorial – rather than a direct translation from the Spanish – where the topic addressed is substantially the same.