Two asylum policies? Cubans arriving by boat turned back but those crossing southwest border face better odds

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Sec. Mayorkas warned that Cuban and Haitians fleeing by boat ‘will not enter the United States’

The Biden administration this week warned Cubans attempting to enter the U.S. by boat that they would be turned back or sent to a third country — all while tens of thousands of migrants arriving at the southern border are being let in.

“Allow me to be clear. If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said this week about migrants from Cuba and Haiti coming across the Florida Straits.

As political protests against the authoritarian communist regime rock the country, there are fears of a spike in migrants fleeing. Mayorkas said DHS has not yet seen a surge, but warned that those coming over would not come in — but could be referred to a third country.

“They are returned by vessels of interdiction. If individuals establish a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for settlement,” he said. “They will not enter the United States.”

While Mayorkas’ comments do not reflect a new policy by DHS, and such policies have been carried out by different administrations for years, it is a stark contrast to the Biden administration’s approach to the southern border.

There, the administration has ended the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) which kept migrants in Mexico and the Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ACAs), which were agreements with Northern Triangle countries to have migrants claim asylum there instead rather than in the U.S.

Additionally, while it is expelling single adults via Title 42 public health protections, it is not expelling migrant families or unaccompanied children — and has made it a focus to quicken the process by which families and children are processed and released into the United States, often without court dates.

By Adam Shaw

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