On behalf of the Biden administration, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told citizens of Cuba and Haiti, who might try to reach the United States by sea, to not even attempt the journey as they will never be allowed in.
Mayorkas’ declaration appears bizarre for several reason.
First, because the Biden administration appears to be keeping the US – Mexican border wide open, with hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Central America crossing it freely since Donald Trump vacated the White House.
This discrepancy has led some critics to declare that the ban for Cubans and Haitians is based on the fact that their immigrant communities in the US tend to vote Republican, whereas Mexican and Central American immigrants mostly support the Democrats.
Second, the declaration is weird, because, ironically, Mayorkas himself was born in one of the two affected nations, Cuba, and his family, which if of Cuban Jewish origin, fled from the Castro revolution Cuba in 1960 to the United States.
Third, that has occurred against the backdrop of political violence in both Caribbean nations, plus Biden’s recent vow that his government stands with the people of Cuba in their demands for freedom and basic human rights.
Biden doesn’t like Cubas because they vote Republicans
On Sunday, Cuba saw its largest political protest rally for decades as disgruntled Cubans came together to protest the rapidly deteriorating economic situation and the fact that it is still being ruled by a communist dictatorship.
Haiti, on the other hand, has been gripped by political chaos after the recent assassination of the country’s President, Jovenel Moise, which is exacerbating the country’s already bad humanitarian situation.
Speaking on Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas told potential illegal immigrants from Cuba and Haiti “never” to try to make it to the US by sea since that involves great risks for their lives. He declared in particular that even they reach the US, the migrants from Cuba and Haiti would not be allowed in the country.
He said the US Coast Guard was monitoring the waterways across the Florida Straits for undocumented immigrants, and whoever is caught would be send back “by vessels of interdiction.”
Most Cuban-Americans are voting for Republicans
Even persons who are able to prove they are the victims of political violence or persecution would be sent to third countries for settlement.
A total of 313 Haitians and 470 Cubans have been caught at sea in the fiscal year 2021 so far vis-a-vis 430 Haitians and 49 Cubans who were intercepted by the US Coast Guard in the preceding year.
Back in May, Mayorkas warned that Haitians already present in the US would be given a designation of temporary protected status.
This allows them to enjoy a legal status for 18 months but one that is no “immigration program.”
Cuban-Americans were particularly enraged by Mayorkas’ declaration, saying that Cubans are getting slaughtered by communists while the Biden administration stopping them from fleeing to the US.
Most Cuban-Americans identify politically as Republican, based on the results from a Pew Center survey conducted in 2020.