Change in US-Cuba immigration policy includes expulsion of remaining criminal ‘Marielitos’

Last Thursday’s announcement by US President Barack Obama that he is ending the longstanding “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to US soil to stay and become a legal resident also included a previously unreported agreement by Cuba to accept the remaining criminal deportees from the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

The Mariel boatlift in 1980 was a mass emigration of Cubans, who left Cuba’s Mariel Harbour by boat to travel to the United States with the agreement of then Cuban president Fidel Castro.

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