- Posted August 30, 2012 by
What is the difference between stateless person in America and Cuban entering America?
When we address the issue of statelessness in the United States we have to take this issue very very seriously. Our Government does not seem to have taken the phenomenon of statelessness in our soil serious enough. Stateless persons living in limbo in the United States have been excluded from international human rights protection. Being stateless is equal to being a refugee. So, why stateless people in our country who spent years working, living, contributing to our economy much different from Cubans who are acknowledged as refugees as soon as they step onto US soil?
The Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), originally intended as a short-term destabilization program, was never expected to last for decades. But we still do accept Cubans and give them refugee status, asylum status, permanent residency and all benefits as soon as they enter our land. Do we really want a massive migration of Cubans to the USA? Apparently, yes as we stick to our plan of strangling the economy of Cuba in order to provoke massive unrest and let Cubans flee their island for protection in the United States. Cubans who seek more freedom, life without the blockade, the better income are allowed to enter US and gain path to US citizenship but those stateless people who found themselves in limbo where there is no currently escape, put their long years in the United States, contributed to the economy, studied, built their life, some of them were detained, released under order of supervision, forced to report to immigration authorities every three months, paid taxes, live normal civilized life with no criminal background are excluded from special protection, can be detained indefinitely, sent to some places they do not know, have their rights stripped and so on, are they so different from Cubans? How this can be justified? Is there a logic in this?
All Cubans who arrive to the US are refugees and law itself (CAA) does not require to provide the proof of being refugee, proof of past discrimination, proof of past human rights violation, proof of persecution and so on. They just have to step into the US soil and provide the proof that they are Cubans, and the green light is on. Between Cubans and US stateless residents (estimated 4,000 now) that is violation of stateless persons human rights. Cubans can declare political persecution as the reason of leaving their island but those stateless people who previously applied for political asylum in the United States but were not able to afford costly lawyers, literally being forced to represent themselves in the court in front of immigration judge without knowing any nuances or complexity of US immigration law and lost their cases, were denied asylum and eventually deported to nowhere as there is no country that would accept them, grant them legal status, protect them. They became nobody and left in limbo and forced to report to immigration authorities regularly where Cubans enjoy protection and full benefits and partial citizenship which eventually would lead to citizenship just because they are Cubans. Does this sound fair to you? Do you think this type of law is justifiable? It really does not click in my head.
As a stateless person myself who spent 16 years in the United States, sometimes I think that I would probably have been in better position if I was Latino, or maybe young undocumented and illegal person, or probably better dry-foot/wet-foot Cuban.