On Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Cubans and Haitians will not be allowed to reach the United States to seek asylum if traveling by boat.
“Allow me to be clear: if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Mayorkas said. In Cuba thousands of citizens have taken to the streets in a rare display of public pushback against their government, as economic conditions in Cuba take a turn for the worse. In his statement, Mayorkas said that anyone from Cuba or Haiti trying to escape to the U.S. by boat will be intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard and returned immediately to their homes.
In addition, even if those seeking asylum manage to land an interview with U.S. immigration officials, they still won’t be allowed into the country, no matter the outcome of their initial screening. “If individuals make, establish a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for resettlement,” Mayorkas said. “They will not enter the United States.”
Mayorkas’s stance attracted criticism from Kennji Kizuka. “The U.S. government shouldn’t be using this system of off-shore processing to evade our refugee protection laws,” said Kennji Kizuka, associate director of research and analysis at Human Rights First, in an interview with CBS News. “They should allow people to land in the United States and go through their full asylum proceedings.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEWSWEEK
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