Posted on July 14, 2021

Mayorkas to Cubans, Haitians: Do Not Come to the U.S.

Sabrina Rodriguez, Politico, July 13, 2021

Cuban-born Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday delivered a clear message to the Cuban and Haitian people amid upheaval in both Caribbean nations: Do not come to the United States.

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

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

Mayorkas’ message comes amid continued protests in Cuba calling for the end of the 62-year-old dictatorship and the recent assassination of the president of Haiti.

The Biden administration has expressed solidarity with the thousands of Cubans protesting on the communist-run island, but so far has not shared any concrete plans or policy to help them. On Sunday, a delegation of U.S. officials traveled to Haiti to discuss the Haitian government’s ask for U.S. assistance following the president’s assassination.


In fiscal 2021, 470 Cubans and 313 Haitians have been intercepted at sea, compared to 49 Cubans and 430 Haitians in fiscal 2020, Mayorkas said.

In May, Mayorkas announced the designation of temporary protected status for Haiti, a designation that allows Haitians who were present in the U.S. at the time of the announcement to be granted legal status for 18 months. {snip}