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Havana welcomes end of United States preferential immigration policy concerning Cubans


"If we go back to Cuba we won't be allowed to work in our profession", said Michael Palacios, one of the doctors.

President Obama also added that the United States will continue to welcome Cuban migrants, but in a manner consistent with USA immigration laws.

"Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the US illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with USA law and enforcement priorities". 'On the other hand, it was seeking to present the Cuban government as a totalitarian regime that forbids the emigration of its citizens, ' it stresses. Two Republican 2016 presidential candidates, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, were of Cuban heritage. For many Cubans and Cuban-Americans, however, the decision brought anxiety - for themselves and their loved ones.

It should contribute -it adds- to normalizing migration relations which have been shadowed by aggressive policies of successive USA administrations that encouraged violence, irregular migration and human trafficking, causing the death of many innocent people.

The new policy reverses one that came about more than 20 years ago, letting Cubans who'd made it into the United States illegally stay here and pursue citizenship.

For years, the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board has called for an end to a well-meaning but unsafe and unfair policy, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.

Obama's rapprochement with Cuba and his historic visit to Havana past year had fueled speculation the policy would be scrapped.

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Cubans can get permanent resident status after living in the USA for a year and can later become a citizen as part of the decades-old Cuban Adjustment Act.

Geoff Thale of the Washington Office on Latin America, a research and advocacy group, welcomed the change. The worst policy is keeping the island isolated.

The Department of Homeland Security action, long encouraged by the Cuban government, is effective immediately, Obama said in a statement.

The last few years has seen an unprecedented amount of Cubans crossing the US' southern border.

The decision is likely Obama's last move in his historic dealings with Cuba since restoring ties with the island in 2014, CNN reports. Younger Cuban-Americans appear less likely to identify their politics in terms of USA policy toward Cuba. In exchange for the new policy, Cuba has agreed to start accepting Cubans who were issued a deportation order in the United States, something the communist nation has refused to do for decades. Customs and Border Protection statistics reveal that 34,600 Cubans entered through the Laredo sector, the place where more Cubans enter than any other in the United States.

"From the humanitarian point of view, it's taking away the possibility of a better future from the people who are struggling in Cuba", a Miami-based veteran of the Bay of Pigs invasion said to The AP.

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