Cubans have a special privilege that is not given to other immigrants.
Because of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 once Cubans are allowed to live in the United States and become legal permanent residents when they set foot on American soil. For fear of this privilege being taken away since the US renewed “public relations” with Cuba in 2014, there was an increase in Cuban immigration to the United States in 2015. In December thousands of undocumented Cubans embarked on a dangerous trip across eight countries to the United States’ southern border. This trip continued through January of this year. Cuba’s recent attempts to strengthen its economy allowed Cubans to sell their property, which enabled many Cubans to sell in order to get the necessary finances to make the journey.
It is a long route through the eight Central American countries to the US southern border through Mexico.
With this alternate trip, Cubans avoid having to cross through Florida Straits, where many have lost their lives or have risked turning back if caught by the Coast Guard, according to the “wet foot, dry foot” policy.
While some countries helped the Cubans make the journey by offering shelter and food, others opposed, denying their pass, holding them up at the border with tear gas and violence. The countries that supported the travelers stated that this was a one-time agreement.
Despite the physical and mental struggle of the trip, many Cubans continued their journey in hopes of starting a new life in the United States.