Cuban Nationals in RGV React after Obama Ends ‘Wet-Foot, Dry-Foot’ Policy
MCALLEN – President Barack Obama announced Thursday his administration will end the long-standing “wet-foot, dry-foot policy” for Cubans.
McAllen-based artist Ernesto Macia was surprised when he was told the news. He left Cuba for the U.S. 22 years ago. Macias said people won’t be able to follow in his path anymore.
“I’m very said. I’m sure others wanted to come. Now they won’t have the same outcome,” he said.
Macias said his country is still going through economic hardships. He said people he knows, like his mother, father and friends, will have a harder time coming to live in the U.S.
UTRGV political science professor Arturo Lopez also left Cuba in 2001.
“I’m worried that some of my co-nationals, people from Cuba, could come to the United States and have to live under the difficult conditions that undocumented immigrants live,” he said.
Lopez said he thinks the current migration pattern will change.
In 2016, thousands of Cubans arrived at the South Texas border per month. They were able to walk up to a port of entry and cross to the U.S. after they were identified.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, effective immediately, any Cuban national who attempts to enter the U.S. illegally will be placed in deportation proceedings.