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Allow Cuban migrants in transit to enter US

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Cuban migrant Yarisel Isac Wilson, 20, right, cries as she talks about her journey to the U.S. at a migrant shelter in Panama City, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. President Barack Obama announced Thursday he is ending a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident. The repeal of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy is effective immediately. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)                            Read more: 

     Excerpts from the Editorial published by the Miami Herald on January 13:

             "Let the stranded Cubans in, President Obama —

                                              then close the door"

President Obama’s decision to end the wet foot/ dry foot policy for Cubans caught the rest of us flat-footed. It has some unexpected consequences that will lead to unwarranted human suffering. The president can provide immediate relief — and should do so quickly.

Thursday’s order ending the policy that gives Cubans without visas who make it to dry land automatic parole and a chance to become residents in a year has left thousands of Cubans stuck in transit at the Mexican border, on the Florida Straits and even at Miami International Airport.

Some families were separated simply because of bad timing — some family members were processed through Border Patrol before the president’s order took effect while their relatives were still in line — some since early in the morning — and were told the privilege of entering was being denied. Those are the people now stuck in limbo. If they return to Cuba, they will not be treated kindly, and they can’t stay in Central America or Mexico for long without facing deportation.

The president should step in and rectify this situation. He should amend his order and allow in anyone who has proof that they left Cuba by Jan. 12.

It’s only fair: These migrants were not given any warning this would occur as they were making their long journey from Cuba. There is no turning back for them. They bet their future on the promise of America, just as so many others from so many other countries have done.

The editorial boards of el Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald seek a small window of opportunity for Cubans standing face-to-face with a shut door. There’s reason to help them, just as Central Americans and Haitians received limited help through temporary protected status (TPS) after disasters or wars in their home countries.

This would only help Cubans whose flights took off prior to the announcement; who were already making their way to the Mexican border before the new rule, but had not crossed; Cubans whose rafts and boats had left the island and were in the water before the new policy kicked in, but had not arrived. And also the Cuban doctors who had already processed paperwork to take part in a parole program should also be allowed to come. The president’s order brought that program to an end, too.

This is Obama’s opportunity to make a humanitarian gesture before he leaves office on Jan. 20. He can amend his presidential order and allow those Cubans to complete their journey and get work permits upon arrival.                                      Readmore:

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