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The Obama administration has ended a routine that permit Cuban migrants enter the U.S. There is no visas. Scott Simon speak to Cuban author Carlos Eire, who was airlifted out of Cuba together a son in 1962.

You are watching: Cuban wet foot dry foot law


SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Obama administration has ended the so-called wet foot, dried foot plan which permitted migrants fleeing Cuba there is no a visa to immediately stay in the joined States. The White home said the change was critical step toward continuing to, quote, "normalize" relationships with Cuba, a process that began when diplomatic relations were restored in 2014. More than a million Cubans have involved the united States because the Cuban revolution in 1959. Carlos Eire was among 14,000 children airlifted out of Cuba. In 1962, he created of course the National book Award-winning memoir that his boyhood "Waiting For eye In Havana." He"s currently a professor of history and spiritual studies at Yale and also joins united state from Guilford, Conn. Carlos, thanks so much for being through us.

CARLOS EIRE: Oh, many thanks for inviting me to be on her show, Scott. It"s constantly nice to talk to you.

SIMON: just how do you feel about the plan change?

EIRE: Well, girlfriend know, it"s a complex issue because the wet foot, dry foot policy always had an aspect of unfairness around it, yet it fits in through President Obama"s plan for so - normalizing. I"ll placed quotation marks approximately normalizing. What he had actually done formerly is basically announced to the world that he didn"t care about human rights in Cuba. So now he"s made the clear that no Cuban that arrives in the united States can be thought about a refugee. That is, somebody who"s fleeing an oppressive regimen or fear for your life. For this reason it"s component and package of his policy. And also I can kind of view why he waited it rotates the critical minute to placed this policy into effect since there would have been a most pushback from part quarters.

SIMON: Well, allow me asking this - need to Cubans it is in afforded a special status that is not given civilization who flee crime or violence, say from Mexico or El Salvador in the hemisphere, or desperation and also tyranny, as in existing day Venezuela?

EIRE: Right. Well, this is a - it"s - again, it"s a very complex issue because not everyone who flees Cuba is fleeing political repression. Over there are people in Cuba connected in the opposition come the Castro regime, and also they room really having a very an overwhelming time best now due to the fact that repression has increased because normalization. It"s unable to do - it"s really spiked and skyrocketed and the variety of arrests have actually just gone through the roof. So over there are human being who room under duress. They"re usually not the ones who flee in rafts and also boats. And also to more complicate the issue, a the majority of the people who"ve been coming for the past two decades or so, most world don"t realize is they have permission come travel earlier to Cuba. And some of them travel ago twice a year, and they walk loaded v presents for their families, gifts, points they can"t get in Cuba.

So the net an outcome is that for the past couple of years thousands of these so-called refugees have been traveling back to Cuba. And also some of castle actually end up - you know, due to the fact that they have great jobs in the U.S., several of them end up taking their entirety family come a beach resort, therefore they usually go on holidays in Cuba. For this reason that more complicates the whole issue of even if it is they"re political refugees or not. It"s been messy because that a while, and also now it"s type of to be cleared up, yet it stays to be checked out whether the policy have the right to stay in result under Donald Trump.

SIMON: Well, that would certainly be mine - would certainly you desire to check out it undone by a chairman Trump?

EIRE: I"m not sure. I"ve always had combined feelings around this. And so have most various other Cuban refugees who came in the "60s, "70s and also "80s once the instance was completely different since wet foot, dry foot has remained in effect because the Clinton administration. By that time, things had changed because part of the transaction was this going ago to Cuba come visit family. Twice a year you can go. And that began to complicated matters. And also there"s resentment in the Cuban exile ar from those that came and also really fear for their lives and feared for their welfare under a repressive regime. There"s been resentment for these Cubans who go back. And I have actually a special name because that them. I speak to them YoYos "cause they save going back and forth.

SIMON: Well, thank - Carlos Eire, we have to go. Professor of history and spiritual studies in ~ Yale, many thanks so lot for being with us.

EIRE: Thanks, Scott.

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