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Will change to Cuba policy impact immigration?

Residents of the state of Florida are likely trying figure out what to make of President Obama’s recent shift regarding Cuba. Though the embargo was not actually lifted, the change eases travel restrictions and encourages trade between the two nations. The change to the embargo that has been in place for more than 50 years, and was designed to force reforms by choking the economy, may make some wonder if the change will in any way impact immigration as it currently stands.

Currently, the Cuban Adjustment Act provides that anyone from that country who comes to the U.S. and actually sets foot on the soil is treated as a refugee and allowed to stay in the country. In contrast those who are caught before making it to land, are detained, turned away and deported.

The reality is at this point, it is unclear how this will impact immigration for Cubans seeking to come to the United States to live. Obama indicated that for now the Cuban Adjustment Act will remain in force but that once officials between the nations discuss the matter new immigration rules may be developed.

It is likely that many who reside in South Florida will be watching to see how the rules change. This is in large part because of the population of former Cubans who reside in state. Residents of the state are not the only ones who are interested in how the matter will develop. Immigration lawyers are probably keeping a close eye on the matter as well. As a result, going forward, they will be a good option when questions regarding the matter arise.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Obama's Cuba policy doesn't mean Congress will change laws,” Anthony Man and William E. Gibson, Dec. 17, 2014

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