Photo: "Wet foot, dry foot"
Cuba used the latest round of migration talks with the United States to again urge Washington to end the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allows Cuban migrants who reach U.S. soil to remain in the country, the Havana government said Thursday.
Participants at Thursday’s session in Havana “analyzed the state of compliance with the prevailing immigration accords between the two countries, including the measures undertaken by both parties to deal with illegal emigration and the smuggling of emigrants,” the Cuban government said in a statement.
“The Cuban delegation once again insisted that these phenomena will not be able to be eradicated and a legal, safe and orderly migration flow will not be able to be achieved between Cuba and the United States as long as the wet foot, dry foot policy and the Cuban Adjustment Act are not revoked,” the statement said.
The wet foot, dry foot policy establishes that Cubans who manage to set foot on U.S. soil may remain in the country while those who are intercepted at sea must be returned to the communist-ruled island.
Cuba claims that those policies stimulate illegal emigration.
At the meeting on Thursday both countries resumed their migration talks, the latest edition of which took place in Washington last July.
Just as in 2013, on this occasion the Cuban team was headed by the director of the foreign ministry’s U.S. desk, Josefina Vidal, while the U.S. delegation was led by Assistant Secretary of State Edward Alex Lee.
The schedule for Friday is for U.S. officials to offer a press conference on the talks, which are considered to be one of the most important political exchanges between the two countries, who have not had diplomatic relations since 1962.
The bilateral dialogue is based on the 1994 and 1995 agreements whereby Washington and Havana committed to maintaining “safe, legal and orderly” migration.