Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Judge Rules Cubans Illegally Removed by Coast Guard

A U.S. District judge in Florida ruled the Coast Guard back in January should not have sent Cubans back to their country.

Fifteen Cubans had reached an old shattered bridge off the Florida Keys that no longer connected to land; but according to CBS, a new bridge attached to U.S. soil was a mere 100 meters away, and the way the "wet-foot, dry foot" government policy works, if Cubans reach U.S. soil, they can stay.

In his ruling, Judge Federico Moreno wrote that although he "sympathized with the difficulty the U.S. Coast Guard faces in making split-second decisions at sea...'those Cuban refugees who reached American soil in early January 2006 were removed to Cuba illegally.'"

Well, I guess it's probably helpful when a Cuban-American judge decides whether a brethren stays or goes, but the "wet-foot, dry foot" policy is patently partisan and plain wrong.

I mean, why should Haitians, Mexicans, Jamaicans, Nicaraguans, Nigerians, Somalia’s, and a bevy of other nationalities be deported, but the favored Cubans allowed to stay if their toes touch land?!?

Yet to hear Cuban-Americans complain, the policy itself is an egregious inequity.
Republican Sen. Mel Martinez [is] calling for an overhaul of U.S.-Cuba immigration policy. "The policy is wrong and it ought to be changed," he said.
With Florida as the proverbial swing state, don't expect the judge's decision to be appealed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District; after all, the balance of power might be at stake, and Cuban immigration policy has political consequences as duly noted below.
"This will have an effect of reducing the numbers of Cuban-American voters that would blindly follow a Republican candidate," Cuban American National Foundation President Pepe Hernandez said. "Cubans are going to realize that both parties come when they need us but tend to forget our pledges when they don't."
Hear ye, hear ye, Democrats and Republicans, you've been duly warned!

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