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Should The US Change Its Cuban Immigration Policy?

Credit: Amy Goodman / Flickr

The Cuban flag is pictured, Feb. 12, 2007.

Aired 3/22/16 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Should U.S. Change Cuban Immigration Policy?


Mark Grabowski, communications law professor, National University

President Barack Obama told the Cuban people on Tuesday that he had come to their nation to “bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas.”

In a wide-ranging speech in Havana, the president addressed the strained history between the U.S. and Cuba but said that the two countries must look forward to a new future.

Still, one custom from the past remains: immigration policy.

The 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act grants Cuban citizens the right to become permanent U.S. residents after they have lived in the U.S. for one year.

Mark Grabowski, communications law professor at National University in San Diego, argues in an op-ed for Times of San Diego that it’s time to end the program.

“It's a matter of fairness that when we created this policy in 1966, we were doing it because [people] were fleeing Cuba for their lives,” Grabowski told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday.

He said that the majority of Cubans today are moving to the U.S. for economic reasons.

“If we sort of grant everyone the same rights that Cubans have, then we're essentially looking at open borders,” Grabowski said. “And I don't know if a lot of people would support that.”

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