MIAMI, United States. — From October 2021 to date, more than 177,000 Cubans have arrived irregularly in the United States. However, crossing the border no longer guarantees any privilege, but rather the beginning of a long road towards the regularization of their immigration status.
A report of The New Herald warns that thousands of Cuban migrants are facing problems in finding a way to legalize themselves in the northern country. Those who are released with parole at the border have the option of availing themselves of the Cuban Adjustment Act (in force since 1966), while others only receive Form I-220a, an “Order of release under recognition” that is issued by the Service US Immigration and Customs Enforcement when immigrants are placed in removal proceedings.
Both the parole and the I-220a must contain the person’s identification number for immigration purposes, known as an A number (alien number) or foreigner number, but there are cases in which migrants do not even receive a document and are only summoned to appear before an immigration officer.
“They released me with a document that says I’ve been released on the condition that I report to an ICE office at my final destination within 60 days, and they didn’t even give me an alien number or anything. And that has been my biggest problem here in this country,” a 36-year-old Cuban telecommunications engineer, who arrived irregularly in the US in June of last year, told the Miami newspaper.
points out The New Herald that he and his family surrendered to border patrol agents at the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
“He thought they were lucky because they were processed and released in just two hours. But then he realized that the release document did not contain crucial information: the so-called ‘foreigner’s number,’ “says the newspaper.
After going through an ordeal of obstacles, the migrant learned that his interview with an ICE officer had been rescheduled for the year 2024. Thanks to the advice of lawyers, he and his relatives were able to process his request for political asylum, although they are still waiting for a work permit.
One of the problems faced by Cuban migrants is that immigration officials at the border have “broad discretion to make decisions,” as an ICE spokesman assured that outlet.
The official stated that Cuban immigrants can be “processed” under different programs, which can result in “many different results.”
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