You’ve heard Trump on Mexicans, but what about Cubans?
by Kevin Gray
February 17, 2016 12:38 a.m.
Donald Trump has made it excruciatingly, painfully clear where he stands
on the issue of immigration from Mexico. But now he’s showing that his
discomfort with Latino immigration isn’t limited to Mexicans.
During a recent campaign stop in Florida, home to some 1.5 million Cuban
exiles and immigrants, Trump was asked what he thinks about the Cuban
Adjustment Act—aka the “wet foot/dry foot” policy— that allows any Cuban
who reaches U.S. soil to remain in the country legally and apply for
“I don’t think that’s fair,” Trump told the Tampa Bay Times in an
interview. “I mean why would that be a fair thing?”
Trump added,“You know we have a system now for bringing people into the
country, and what we should be doing is bringing in people who are
terrific people who have terrific records of achievement, accomplishment.”
“You have people that have been in the system for years [waiting to
immigrate to the United States], and it’s very unfair when people who
just walk across the border, and you have other people that do it
legally,” Trump said.
The U.S.’ cold-war era immigration policy towards Cuba has come under
increased scrutiny over the past year since Presidents Obama and Castro
started normalizing diplomatic relations at the end of 2014. A
subsequent investigation by the South Florida Sun Sentinel revealed that
some Cuban immigrants were coming to the U.S. for welfare benefits and
then returning to live on the communist island, where the money goes a
The increased scrutiny and pressure to revoke the outdated Cuban
immigration policy has become a divisive issue in South Florida’s
Cuban-American community, which for years has been led by Cuban exiles
who fled the country in the 1960s vowing never to return until the
communist government is replaced. Newer Cuban immigrants maintain closer
ties to the island.
While Trump appears to be taking a tough stance on the policy, two of
his leading rivals for the Republican nomination, both of whom are of
Cuban descent, haven’t been as outspoken. In January, Republican
presidential hopeful Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban
immigrants, filed legislation that would require Cuban immigrants to
demonstrate they were persecuted in Cuba in order to qualify for food
stamps and Medicaid. That would mean any new Cuban arrivals would go
through the same process as asylum seekers from any other country.
Rubio, however, has been vague about whether Cuban’s overall fast-track
immigration status should been done away with completely, even as he
hardened his position on he would handle a government program that has
allowed hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who came
to the U.S. as children to remain in the country.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, an immigration hawk who is the son of a Cuban
father, has repeatedly criticized Rubio for taking a soft position on
immigration. But Cruz thinks the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) should stay
in place while Cuba’s government remains communist.
“The CAA is a recognition of the oppressive communist regime in Cuba
that engages in political repression, torture and murder,” Cruz told the
Miami Herald in October. “I look forward to the day when the Cuban
Adjustment Act is no longer necessary because a free Cuba will have
Trump, on the other hand, did not offer any thoughtful comments or
recommendations on Cuban immigration policy, other than to complain that
Source: You’ve heard Trump on Mexicans, but what about Cubans? | Fusion