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Latino Daily News

Tuesday January 17, 2012

26 Cuban Boat Refugees Arrive in Florida Keys,  Allowed to Stay Become Legal Residents w/in Year

26 Cuban Boat Refugees Arrive in Florida Keys,  Allowed to Stay Become Legal Residents w/in Year

Photo: Cuban Refugees Make it to Florida Keys

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

26 Cuban refugees arrived in Florida Keys possibly being smuggled into the U.S. via a migrant-smuggling operation this past Friday.

Under the ‘wet foot-dry foot policy’ that only benefits Cuban migrant - any undocumented migrant who makes it to land in the U.S. is allowed to stay and can apply for permanent residence after living in the U.S. for more than a year.  However, any undocumented Cuban migrant captured at sea will be sent back to Cuba.

The 26 refugees found ashore near Newfound Harbor is the largest group to make it to the U.S. thus far in 2012.  During 2011 985 Cuban migrants were captured at sea and returned while 696 reached land.  However another 5,000 Cuban migrants entered the U.S. via the Mexican border and were allowed to stay and avoid deportation. 

A speedboat that is believed to have smuggled the 26 boat refugees was spotted in the area but was not captured.