Cuba Document Archive | Migration


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Cuban Migration to The US: Policy and Trends

by Ruth Ellen Wasem (Congressional Research Service, June 2009)

In his presidential campaign, Obama stated he would seek to change U.S. policy by allowing unlimited family travel and remittances to Cuba, signaling to some the possibility of resuming the migration talks. In his opening speech at the Summit of the Americas on April 17, 2009, President Obama expressed the hope of “a new beginning with Cuba,” specifically mentioning migration as an issue. This report provides an overview of the Obama Administration’s promises and potential actions on Cuban immigration policy, and indicates that both U.S. congress members and Cuban officials have expressed support for resuming migration talks.

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The Cuban Condition: Migration, Remittances, and its Diaspora

by Manuel Orozco (Inter-American Dialogue, 2009)

This study explores the phenomenon of rapid Cuban migration to the U.S. and the continued practice of sending remittances to friends and family members that remain within the closed nation. Although the cost of remitting to Cuba is the highest in Latin America, emigrants continue to send money to mitigate relatives’ harsh economic conditions. This document draws on the responses from several surveys to determine the root of this practice.

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Cubans in the United States: Fact Sheet

(Pew Hispanic Center, August 2006)

Based on the information from several studies, this document offers a portrait of the of the Cuban population living within the United States. It indicates that Cuban-Americans are typically older, have more education, enjoy higher household income, and demonstrate greater rates of homeownership than other immigrants from Latin American countries. It also examines attitudinal ideology among different generations about popular issues in the United States and Cuba.

Link to the full text via Pew Hispanic Center

Text of Commissioner's Memorandum on Eligibility for Permanent Residence under the Cuban Adjustment Act

By Doris Meissner (Immigration and Naturalization Service, April 1999)

This memorandum sets forth the immigration policy concerning the eligibility for permanent residence of immigrants who are covered under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), but arrived in the U.S. at a place other than a designated port of entry. According to Meissner, CAA applicants are not considered inadmissible based on port of entry or public charge grounds so long as they meet all other eligibility requirements. The memo also reiterates Congress' intention that the CAA is "to continue in force until there is a democratic government in Cuba."

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U.S. Department of State Dispatch, Volume 6, Number 19, Article 5 (1995 Migration Agreement)

Bureau of Public Affairs (U.S. Department of State and the White House, May 1995) 

In this agreement, the United States and Cuba build on the 1994 Migration Agreement, seeking "to address safety and humanitarian concerns and to ensure that migration between the countries is safe, legal, and orderly." It specifically provides for humanitarian parole of Cuban migrants detained at Guantánamo Bay who are eligible for admission to the United States, as well as the return to Cuba of those Cuban nationals at Guantánamo who are ineligible for admission. Both sides reaffirm their joint commitment to take steps to prevent unsafe departures from Cuba and to oppose acts of violence associated with illegal immigration.

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U.S. Department of State Dispatch, Volume 5, Number 37, Article 5 (1994 Migration Agreement)

Bureau of Public Affairs (U.S. Department of State, September 1994) 

This agreement negotiated by U.S. and Cuban representatives was intended to normalize safe and legal migration between the countries in light of the 1994 balsero crisis. The U.S. establishes a policy that denies entrance to the U.S. for all Cuban migrants rescued at sea and ensures that a minimum of 20,000 Cubans may legally migrate to the U.S. each year. For its part, the Cuban government commits to "prevent unsafe departures using mainly persuasive methods." Both nations' pledge to prevent the illegal transport of persons to the U.S. and to continue to discuss the return Cuban nationals excludable from the United States.

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Current or Recent Alien Adjustment Provisions (Cuban Adjustment Act)

(U.S. Department of State, Public Law 89-732, November 1966)

This United States law describes the process by which illegal immigrants from Cuba can apply for permanent residence after one year of living in the U.S.

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