Thursday, January 12, 2017

Obama to end 'wet foot, dry foot' policy for Cubans

Published 4:31 p.m. ET Jan. 12, 2017 | Updated 19 minutes ago

The Obama administration is ending the 20-year-old "wet foot, dry foot" policy that allows most Cuban migrants who reach U.S. soil to become legal permanent residents after one year.

The decision was confirmed Thursday by a congressional staffer who was briefed by the administration but was not authorized to publicly discuss the plan. The administration is expected to make a formal announcement later Thursday.

Ending the policy means Cubans will no longer receive the preferential treatment they have enjoyed for more than two decades. Migrants from all other countries who don't have a visa but are determined to enter the U.S. must sneak into the country and live their lives in fear of deportations.

However, the "wet foot, dry foot" policy has meant that Cubans who arrive in South Florida by sea or who simply present themselves at ports of entry along the southwest border are generally allowed to stay.

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