Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Travel plans

“We’ll have to route you through Mexico. Is that OK?”

So goes the plan uncovered by the Attorney General of Mexico.

We have this refugee policy with Cuba that if you can make it to shore, you will be granted asylum here in the United States and put on a path to legalization. But, if we turn you away off-shore in your boat, you will not be allowed in.

It doesn’t make a great deal of sense but past history made the policy necessary.

If you go directly north from Cuba to the Keys, it is about 90 miles. If you go west to the Yucatan Peninsula it adds about 40 miles to the sea voyage.

And, as we know, getting across the Mexican border into the U S is no problema.

“In a new trend, nearly 90 percent of all undocumented Cubans who make it to the United States now travel overland rather than reaching U.S. shores by boat, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.” San Diego Union Tribune

So, is the Mexican government demanding that we put up a fence? No, of course not. But their immigration detention centers are flooded with Cubans who were caught trying to make the trip. Mexico holds them for 90 days and then lets them go.

About a third of them are sent back to Cuba. The article doesn’t say what happens to the other two thirds upon release. But I think we can guess.

Maybe it’s time to add a third rule about Cuban refugees. If you don’t come through a beach in Florida, you have to go back. Don’t hold your breath on that one.

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