DHS Secretary: People Fleeing Persecution in Cuba or Haiti Won't Be Allowed Into US


U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas warned Cubans and Haitians on Tuesday that the Biden administration will throw out anyone who attempts to come to the United States by sea.

The statement comes from a Biden administration that claimed it “stand[s] with the Cuban people as they bravely assert their fundamental and universal rights, and as they all call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering.”

“The time is never right to attempt migration by sea. To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking,” Mayorkas said at a news conference at the U.S. Coast Guard’s headquarters in Washington.

He highlighted that the seas are risky, especially during hurricane seasons, Fox News reported.

Mayorkas is himself a citizen who first came to the U.S. from Cuba as a refugee.

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“Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” he said.

Haiti suffers from political chaos following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last week.

Riddled with longstanding instability, human rights abuses and police and gang violence, according to Human Rights Watch, the country reached out to the U.S. to help restore order with American troops, a plea the Biden administration rebuffed.

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Cuba, on the other hand, is facing an unprecedented uprising against the communist regime as COVID-19’s aftermath proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Suffering from food and medical shortages, soaring prices and other economic crises, civilians took to the streets Sunday demanding an end to more than 60 years of communist repression. During the demonstrations, some of them waved the American flag as a symbol of freedom.

The communist government has started cracking down on its citizens who demonstrated Sunday, restricting popular internet services and even going so far as to arrest a YouTuber on camera in the middle of an interview, as reported by NPR.

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Mayorkas said at the Tuesday news conference that the Coast Guard is keeping an eye out for undocumented migration across the Florida Straits during this tumultuous period for both Haiti and Cuba. He said the concerned agencies have not yet observed a “surge” in undocumented crossings.

Anyone who makes an undocumented crossing will be returned “by vessels of interdiction. If individuals establish a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for settlement,” Mayorkas said, according to Fox News.

“They will not enter the United States,” he said.

The secretary said authorities have intercepted 470 Cubans and 313  Haitians at sea in the fiscal year 2021, according to Politico. In the previous fiscal year, 49 Cubans and 430 Haitians were intercepted.

Mayorkas in May said Haitian nationals already in the U.S. would receive a temporary protected status designation, permitting them to have legal status for 18 months, the outlet reported.

He underlined Tuesday that the status designation is “not an immigration program,” Politico reported.

Katharina Obser, acting director of the Migrant Rights & Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, slammed the Biden administration for Mayorkas’ statements, according to The Washington Post.

She said the organization was “gravely disappointed” by his “repeated insistence on rejecting desperate families, children, and single adults from our borders, whether by foot or by sea.”

Many Cuban-Americans in South Florida were angered by Mayorkas’ statement.

Others pointed out the possible political motivation behind the decision.

“Cubans are being slaughtered by communists and the Biden administration won’t let them come to the U.S. because they know that the majority of Cubans vote for Republicans,” Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra wrote in a Wednesday post on Twitter.

According to a 2020 Pew Research Center survey, most Cuban-Americans identify as Republican.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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