Cuban Wave Arrives by Land

Miriam Jordan and Arian Campo-Flores, Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2014

In June, Luis Alberto Cuan Lio and his pregnant wife, Yordana Bravo Perez, flew from Cuba to Ecuador as tourists. It was the first leg in a circuitous journey that ended when they crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S., where they are building a new life.

An influx of illegal immigrants from Central America drew wide attention recently, but more than 22,000 Cubans entered the U.S. over land in the year that ended Sept. 30, twice as many as in the previous year. An additional 3,940 sought to reach the U.S. along maritime routes, nearly double the previous year and the highest number since 2008, when the island was buffeted by several hurricanes, exports were suffering and Raúl Castro became president.

Helping to fuel the exodus are the Cuban government’s easing of travel restrictions for its citizens last year and a general lack of hope among Cubans for the country’s economic prospects. “People are growing frustrated with the depth and pace of the economic reforms,” said Ted Henken, a Latin American studies professor at Baruch College in New York.

The U.S. also has loosened restrictions on visas for Cubans who arrive by air as tourists, some of whom are believed to remain in the U.S. About 30,000 of these visas were issued in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2013.


Cuban migrants to the U.S. enjoy special treatment. The Cold War-era Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 allows those who touch U.S. soil to remain here rather than be deported. They are eligible for some benefits that are accorded to refugees fleeing persecution. After a year, they can apply for permanent residency or a green card.

The number of new Cuban arrivals pales next to the 130,000 or so Central Americans that crossed into the U.S. illegally in the latest fiscal year, or the estimated 125,000 Cubans that came by sea in 1980’s Mariel boatlift. But the land crossings open a new chapter in Cuban flight to the U.S., and experts expect arrivals to keep climbing.

At the Mexico-Texas border, Cubans join the line for people with permission to enter the U.S. “They know exactly where to go, arrive with their documents and say they want to apply for the Cuban Adjustment Act,” said Adriana Arce, assistant director at the Laredo port of entry for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who has had to bolster staffing to process the influx. After an interview, the Cubans typically are “paroled” into the country, a process that takes roughly two hours. Then, armed with U.S.-issued papers, they are free to go wherever they wish.

Mr. Cuan, a physician, and his wife, a preschool teacher, saved money for years and used help from friends and relatives in the U.S. to pay for their journey to the U.S., which cost about $8,000.


The couple flew to Ecuador because it didn’t require a visa. From there, they traveled to Lima, Peru, where they secured fake Peruvian passports that enabled them to enter Mexico without a visa. In Monterrey, they boarded a bus to Laredo, where they told U.S. inspectors that they were Cuban nationals.


Cubans are eligible for eight months of cash assistance, medical coverage, job-placement services and free English classes, among other benefits offered to refugees. For a family of three, eight months of cash assistance totals $4,300; for a single person, it is about $2,500. Cubans can also receive food stamps if they meet the income requirements.


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  • kikz2

    and American pay….

  • MekongDelta69

    The WSJ just oozes with joy at the prospect of the endless browning of America.

    “They’re all just aspiring… uhh… we mean, successful illegal aliens… uhh… we mean highly productive and (of course) ‘oppressed’ DREAMers.”

    • me

      Oozes is right. I wouldn’t even grab a discarded copy of that rag to line a bird cage with it–my bird would turn into a ghey commie by proxy.

  • Luca

    But Cuba is a socialist’s paradise where there is no discrimination, everyone is equal, there is no income inequality and there’s plenty of wealth distribution. Why would anyone want to leave such a socialist paradise?

    I guess they don’t realize that here in America the Whites are racist, cops shoot innocent black kids for sport, corporations are evil, we are causing global warming, zip codes determine success, women are oppressed and poverty is widespread. I guess they never got to listen to Obama and crew on state run television.

  • One if by land, two if by sea…

  • The Cubans wanted Castro. They should stay in Cuba and enjoy their socialist paradise.

  • Adolf Verloc

    The RIght’s fawning over Cuban immigrants has weakened all arguments against immigration from poor and oppressive countries. If citizens from an oppressive, poor left-wing country are given instant “refugee” status, why not those from oppressive, poor right-wing countries? We have forgotten the Mariel boatlift, when Castro decided to take Peanutbrain Carter at his word and flood America with his criminals and mental defectives.

  • These Cubans are very different than the Cubans who came to the US during the Revolution. If you ever want to meet a truly unapologetic “racist,” chat with a wealthy white Cuban about the low IQ brown and black “rafters” who periodically wash up on the South Florida coast.

    I knew a Cuban family of completely white Spanish heritage who shunned one of their cousins because he dated a black girl. The entire family, from young children to the elderly, called her “la mona” (the monkey) to her face until the cousin finally broke up with her.

    • phillyguy

      you are absolutely right, the Cubans that came to this country when the revolution begain where the white European landowners who were stripped of everything when the Communists came into power.

    • SentryattheGate

      But Cubans expected US to be tolerant, and accept them here, then they became intolerant (to whites AND to other Latinos)! They crow and boast that south Florida is THEIR territory, with road and highway signs, restaurant menus in Spanish only, and increasingly won’t offer jobs to whites, even IF they know Spanish! Miami is the nation’s largest poorest city, and has a very high violent crime rate! So they move north and spread like a cancer, infecting the host with the corrupt Latino culture!

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      I had Cuban neighbors for years in Florida. We got along just fine. One respect I had for them was that they wore their “racism” on their sleeve. They had no problem letting blacks know they were inferior to them and unworthy of class.

      Zimmerman is some proof that Hispanic Americans in general are going to be inheriting the black problem as they invade the US. It’s pretty clear the US government doesn’t know how to deal with them, but I guarantee the Hispanic population does. Both by ballot and by boot.

  • phillyguy

    if you are a working white man or woman, this is where all your tax money is going to. maybe if we boycott paying our taxes the government might wake up

  • none of your business

    Another affirmative action Dr and another affirmative action teacher. 2 more jobs denied to White Americans.

  • Caucasoid88

    Do you know what a haza is, Obama? Its a pig that doesn’t fly straight.

  • IKUredux

    Why are we even pretending to believe any of this crap? Holy Christo! I say this: Why doesn’t the U.S. take over the entire world? Seriously, isn’t this what is going on? I’m sorry, but I don’t believe ANYTHING ANYMORE. I frankly think that the world is being manipulated by TPTB. I think that Kaci Hickox is part of a plan. I think that EVERYTHING this obama administration does, is done, to bring down this country. I know that the Republicans have done nothing but disappoint. Still, it’s a starting point. Those of us who refused to vote for Mitt Romney, as a rebuke, to the Republicans. I’m thinking it was a case of cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Because, it has gotten worse. Please vote Republican in the upcoming elections. Then, let’s add muscle to the Tea Party. Or, even better, let’s form a new group” POWER. (Protectors of White European Race).Let’s take over their fist! Let’s have a WHITE fist with the word “POWER” on it.

  • archer

    This has to stop and stop soon, the influx of third worlders will destroy us completely, why are these people being given tax payer money in the first place, if they can’t contribute immediately to the economy we obviously don’t need them. We have to start asking the pro immigration people “what’s their real endgame”?

    • me

      Ever hear of the protocols of the New World Order?

  • SlizzardAjeosshi

    And the (not so) funny thing is Cuban immigration laws are actually decidedly strict