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Cuban migrants stranded in Mexico border city may be granted political
asylum
BY NORA GÁMEZ TORRES
ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com

Mexico will allow U.S.-bound Cuban migrants who got stranded in the
border city of Nuevo Laredo following the end of the “wet foot, dry
foot” policy to apply for political asylum and legalize their status in
the nation, the mayor of that city said earlier this week.

“We had a meeting where there were people from immigration…
representatives from the federal government, the state,” Mayor Enrique
Rivas Cuéllar told reporters. “I understand that the [Cuban migrants]
are going to submit requests for political asylum and… be able to
process their legal stay here in the country.”

The mayor — whose city is across the border from Laredo, Texas — said
the Cuban migrants could remain in other areas of the country to await
the result of their asylum requests. The director of the Tamaulipeco
Institute for Migrants, José Martín Carmona, offered to provide help for
Cubans who wanted move from the border city to other Mexican states,
reported the newspaper El Mañana in Nuevo Laredo.

According to the Milenio newspaper, the measure would benefit more than
500 Cubans who are stranded in Nuevo Laredo But a local television
station, citing a recent census, reported that some 1,300 Cubans arrived
in that city after the Jan. 12 end to “wet foot, dry foot” and that only
700 had registered with the National Migration Institute, known by the
Spanish acronymn INM.

An INM official contacted by el Nuevo Herald offered no clarifications
about the number of Cubans who could obtain political asylum.

The immigration policy eliminated by former President Barack Obama
allowed entry to Cubans who arrived on U.S. soil, even without visas.
Thousands journeyed by land across Central America to cross the
U.S.-Mexico border.

Cubans may still seek political asylum in the United States but are now
detained upon arrival while their request is processed. So many have
preferred to wait to see if the U.S. government implements new measures
or whether they can legalize their status in Mexico. The first has not
happened and there is no indication that the Trump administration, which
has taken a tough stance against immigration, will consider
doing so in the future. The second has been complicated by a deportation
agreement Mexico signed in May with Cuba.

Previously, the Cuban government was slow to recognize the nationality
of citizens detained Mexico, a requirement for deportation to occur. As
a result, many Cuban migrants sought transit permits that would allow
them to legally across Mexico to reach the United States. But
since the change in U.S. immigration policy, Cuba has been quicker to
recognize nationality and deportations from Mexico have increased.

In mid-March, 49 Cubans were and at the end of January another
91, both groups from the souther Mexican state of Chiapas. At the Siglo
XXI immigration detention center in Tapachula, about 20 Cubans were
released last month amid denunciations of mistreatment and
irregularities by the Mexican authorities.

Source: Cuban migrants in Nuevo Laredo may be granted political asylum |
Miami Herald –
www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article142933239.html

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