Encounters with Cuban Nationals by US Customs and Border Protection


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I just saw a tweet by CNN’s Havana Correspondent and thought I’d share the gist of it with you and include some background info to put it into perspective. 

Since the beginning of the Federal Government’s FY (October 2021), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have made 114,916 encounters with citizens of Cuba.  113,735 of these were at the Southwest Land Border. 

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https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/nationwide-encounters

The CBP defines an encounter as "any encounter with a person resulting in processing under Title 8 Apprehensions, Office of Field Operations (OFO) Title 8 Inadmissibles, and Title 42 Expulsions”.  From the Congressional Research Service, “For many migrants, Title 42 expulsion results in repatriation to Mexico. However, the Mexican government has stipulated that it will only accept Mexican migrants and those from Northern Triangle countries. Migration from outside that region has led CBP to apprehend and process greater numbers under Title 8. That, in turn, can involve asylum claims, immigration detention, release into the U.S. interior, asylum and immigration court proceedings, and work permits, among other legal and policy requirements.” https://sgp.fas.org/crs/homesec/R46999.pdf 

113,660 of these Cuban encounters were processed under Title 8.  While we don't know what percentage of them were deemed Inadmissible under Title 8, we do know that the Cuban government has not accepted repatriation of any of its citizens since 2020 and as a result remain in the United States and will claim status under the Cuban Adjustment Act after living in the United States after one year.  As a result, this influx of 113,660 Cubans (or a very large portion of it) represents just about 1% of Cuba’s 11.3 million people permanently relocating to the United States…in only 7 months. 

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2 minutes ago, chris12381 said:

just over 1% of Cuba’s population relocating to the United States…in only 7 months. 

That is a truly amazing statistic if accurate.

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12 minutes ago, HarveyBoulevard said:

That is a truly amazing statistic if accurate.

Apologies.  Cuba reports a population 11,300,000 people.  Added it to the main post. Thanks.

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It really is astounding and these are only the ones that got caught. If accurate (or even close to accurate) it's already almost as many people as the Mariel Boatlift (125k people in about 5 months) and counting. 

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55 minutes ago, Corylax18 said:

It really is astounding and these are only the ones that got caught. If accurate (or even close to accurate) it's already almost as many people as the Mariel Boatlift (125k people in about 5 months) and counting. 

You got it.  There is most certainly a number not apprehended at the Southern Land Border or via the Florida Straits.  

And...those that attempted it but didn't make it.

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Consider all the Cubans that crossed where CBP did not encounter.   Could push the number 250K or more possibly.

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I do think the number of Cubans who are attempting to enter via the Southwest Land Border undetected is likely small as they have a particular incentive to document their arrival.  Under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), a Cuban citizen can qualify for adjustment to lawful permanent resident status if they (1) have been inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States; (2) have been physically present in the United States for at least one year at the time of application; (3) are admissible to the United States, and (4) merit a favorable exercise of discretion.  The first of these is the most important and even after wet foot/dry foot disappeared, immigration officers continued to release Cubans into the country pending immigration proceedings.  An opinion by an immigration judge (in Miami) determined that pursuant to Supreme Court precedent, the act of being released from DHS custody at the border constitutes parole under INA § 212(d)(5), thus satisfying the “inspected and admitted or paroled” requirement under the CAA.  

I do think there are likely some who could choose to enter clandestinely because they understand they would not be admissible to the United States nor benefit from the CAA due to disqualifying reasons one might be denied entry or adjustment.  

USCIS Announces Policy Change Regarding Parole Status of Certain Cubans

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