by Matthew Vadum
Open borders are now okay for everyone except Cubans.
As a final sop to his friends and fans in Communist Cuba, President Obama yesterday abruptly ended the two decade-old compassionate immigration policy that allowed any Cuban who made it to U.S. soil to remain in this country and become a legal resident.
This middle finger to the Cuban community is likely part of a series of last-minute policy changes Obama makes on his way out of office. In addition to an expected avalanche of eleventh-hour executive orders and regulations, media reports indicate the White House is seriously considering commuting the 35-year prison term handed out to traitor Bradley Manning for leaking classified documents. Other possible clemency recipients include Hillary Clinton, Bowe Bergdahl, Edward Snowden, and terrorist Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as the Blind Sheikh.
Cubans remain desperate to escape their miserable, impoverished nation and get into the United States. Since October 2012, more than 118,000 Cubans have shown up at border ports of entry, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The 118,000 figure includes more than 48,000 people who presented themselves at the border between October 2015 and November 2016.
Obama moved after reportedly reaching an agreement with Cuban officials Thursday.
Cuban officials praised Obama’s action, calling the new agreement "an important step in advancing relations" between the U.S. and Cuba that "aims to guarantee normal, safe and ordered migration." Ordered migration is apparently a Cuban euphemism for no migration.
"For this to work, the Cubans had to agree to take people back," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser who both lied about the loophole-ridden Iranian nuclear nonproliferation pact and worked with journalists to generate fake news stories about it to win support for it.
Fleeing Cuba is a crime. Whether the Cubans sent back to Cuba under Obama’s new fiat will be tortured, jailed, or executed is an open question but not one that Obama cares about.
After all, Cuba can’t afford to be losing the native-born slaves that it needs to feed its precarious economy and move forward, Rhodes may as well have argued.
"It's important that Cuba continue to have a young, dynamic population that are clearly serving as agents of change," he said.
The rescission of the "wet foot, dry foot" immigration policy in place for those fleeing Cuba wasn’t entirely unexpected. Raul Castro’s dictatorship and the Obama regime had been negotiating over the demise of the policy enacted by President Clinton in 1995 for months after full diplomatic relations were restored between the two countries.
"Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities," Obama said yesterday in a statement. "By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries. The Cuban government has agreed to accept the return of Cuban nationals who have been ordered removed, just as it has been accepting the return of migrants interdicted at sea."
In other words, it’s all about Obama’s phony, arbitrary vision of “fairness.” Open borders are now okay for everyone except Cubans. The free ride will continue for non-Cubans sneaking across the country’s southern land border.
Why would Obama want to make it more difficult for these particular foreigners to stay in the U.S. and pursue citizenship? Because that what his friend Raul Castro wants and because Cubans are one minority group that tends to support Republicans.
Whatever one might think of offering special immigration status to a certain group of people, Obama is clearly not motivated by the desire to improve the integrity and fairness of our immigration system as his open-borders ideology and lawless approach to immigration in general demonstrates.
Obama also simultaneously killed off the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, which President George W. Bush began in 2006. Immigration parole refers to temporary permission to stay in the United States granted to someone who does not have a valid immigrant visa. The Bush program allowed Cuban physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals to seek parole in the U.S. while abroad on assignments.
"By providing preferential treatment to Cuban medical personnel, the medical parole program ... risks harming the Cuban people," Obama said, pretending that Cuba’s atrocious health care system, which requires patients in its squalid, vermin-infested, decrepit hospitals to provide their own bedding, needles, and basic supplies could get any worse.
Cubans already present in the U.S. under both the "wet foot, dry foot" policy and the medical parole program will be allowed to continue along in the process toward legal status, according to the Obama administration.
Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican who moved from Cuba as a child, criticized the elimination of the medical parole program, calling it a "foolhardy concession to a regime that sends its doctors to foreign nations in a modern-day indentured servitude."
Ros-Lehtinen also took aim at Obama for not “standing up for U.S. democratic values and seeking the return of fugitives from U.S. justice like Joanne Chesimard [a cop killer also known as Assata Shakur] or seeking compensation for U.S. citizens for their confiscated properties.”
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, another Florida Republican, described the immigration policy change as a “last act of diminishing lifelines to Cubans languishing in totalitarianism [that] is one final despicable betrayal of a people who deserve better from an American president.”
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) also denounced the decision.
Throughout their murderous reign, hundreds of thousands of Cubans have fled from the Castros’ regime seeking safe haven in the United States. Those who further risked their lives by sea and reached our shores have been afforded the opportunity to expedite their claims to U.S. citizenship.A visa lottery program that allows 20,000 Cubans to come to the U.S. legally each year will remain untouched, administration officials said.
These policies reflect our commitment to the values of liberty and democracy. We should never deny a Cuban refugee fleeing a brutal regime entry into the United States. We must remind ourselves every day of the continued oppression and human suffering that is happening – not only halfway around the world, but just 90 miles off our shores.
To be sure, today’s announcement will only serve to tighten the noose the Castro regime continues to have around the neck of its own people.
When he becomes president in a week Donald Trump, who has criticized the current administration for cozying up to the leaders of the tropical workers’ paradise, could reverse Obama’s decisions.
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