Lawmaker calls for an end to 'wet foot, dry foot' policy
From the News Service of Florida:
A Miami Republican wants state lawmakers to urge Congress to repeal a Cold War-era law that gives Cubans preferential treatment when coming to the U.S.
The proposal (HM 959) by state Rep. Frank Artiles would be a non-binding "memorial" to Congress calling for repeal of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, which is often referred to as the "wet foot, dry foot" policy. Unlike refugees from other nations, if Cubans step foot on U.S. soil --- by traversing the 90 miles of water between the two nations or through another route --- they are allowed to stay.
"This law provides Cuban migrants with an advantage that migrants of other nationalities do not have," said the proposal, filed Monday. The proposed memorial notes that the law was written at a time the Cuban government wasn't recognized by the U.S.
"The Cold War has ended, the United States has recognized the Cuban government, and both countries now maintain diplomatic relations, and travel between the United States and Cuba is now considerably less restricted," the proposal said.
In the spring, the Legislature approved a memorial that opposed President Barack Obama's decision to open diplomatic relations with Cuba and called for Congress to maintain an embargo with the nation.