U.S.-Cuban Immigration Talks Resume, Outlook Unclear
By Maibe Gonzalez Fuentes, FI2W contributor
After six years of stalled negotiations, the U.S. and Cuba have started talking again about immigration issues affecting the two countries.
A meeting held Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York City is the most recent signal from the Obama administration that Washington wants to set a new tone with Havana. In April, the administration lifted restrictions on Cuban immigrants that wish to visit or send remittances to the island.
Tuesday’s encounter was the first time Cuban and U.S. diplomats sat at the same table to talk about immigration issues since President George W. Bush suspended the negotiations in 2003.
Bush had cited failures by the Cuban government to honor previous immigration accords such as ensuring that Cubans with U.S. visas obtain permission to leave Cuba, and that Cubans who have fled the island and are caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally are accepted back by the Cuban government and treated justly.
A brief statement issued by the U.S. State Department after yesterday’s meeting said that it, “reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to promote safe, orderly, and legal migration.” (See the full text below) (more…)