Wet Feet, Dry Feet Policy is the name given to the result of a 1995 revision of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 stating that any individual fleeing Cuba and reached United States soil would be allowed to apply for residency one year upon arrival. Before 1995, The American government accepted all Cubans who reached waters in the United States. After speaking with the Cuban government, however, both Cuba and the Clinton administration agreed that the United States would no longer just accept all Cubans who entered American waters. Since then, any Cuban caught on the waters between both countries (Wet Foot) would be sent back to Cuba or a third destination. But any Cuban who makes it to land (Dry Foot) will have the opportunity to stay, and later would qualify for “legal permanent resident” status, and eventually qualify for citizenship. In January of 2017, as one of his last acts as President of the United States of America, Barack Obama ended the policy.
This immigration policy is unique in the manner it directly applies to only one specific country. This provision is not offered to other countries or nations. Thousands of Haitians have tried entering the country like their Cuban counterparts, only to be immediately deported back to their homeland.
So what does it mean for Cubans now that this immigration policy has ended?
It means that now, Cubans who arrive in the United States without visas will no longer have the privilege to stay automatically, then be awarded residency a year later. This puts an end to — what many call — biased and unfair treatment in favor of Cubans refugees. Those entering the country illegally will now be subject to deportation like everyone else.
People leave their home countries to seek residency in other countries for many reasons. For some, it could be the search for a better life or more opportunities. For others, it could be due to a tyrannical or tortuous government. Or, like our forefathers, it could because of religious freedom. For whatever reason, hundreds of thousands of people every year uproot themselves and make the journey overseas or across a border to settle in a new place. Many countries are openly accepting of refugees and immigrants. While others, not so much. Each country or region has their own immigration laws, and it is up to them to decide who they accept or deny.
No matter the reason for leaving one country to reside in another, there is one common theme — change. Some may just want a change of scenery. Others may just want to reside within another culture. Salt Lake City has its share of immigrants from around the world.
If you are having immigration issues or want help with an immigration matter, contact Familia America Immigration. With years of experience dealing with immigration matters, they are your best bet in Salt Lake City to turn to. Familia America Immigration will work hard to get you what you deserve. Contact them today.