Cuba Refugees

The United States does not have much of a diplomatic relationship with Cuba. In fact, the United States has had a trade embargo with Cuba for the last fifty years. Because of this relationship, the United States is extra willing to accept Cuban citizens who are politically opposed to the Cuban government. Cuban citizens can apply for asylum, like any other country, but most Cubans who are able to make it to the United States do not have to.

Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act

The Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act, as the name suggests, helps make it easier for Cuban citizens to escape Cuba and get permanent residence in the United States. Any Cuban citizen who has been inspected, admitted or paroled into the United States can apply for a Green Card after living in the United States for one year. The spouse and young children of Cuban citizens can use this law to get a Green Card, even if they are not Cuban citizens themselves. Someone who was born in Cuba but becomes a citizen elsewhere can get a Green Card under this law.

Furthermore, a Cuban who has had a family based petition approved can be paroled into the United States while he or she is waiting for a Green Card. The United States government also runs a lottery that allows Cuban citizens to migrate to the U.S.

Asylum

If a Cuban citizen cannot manage to take advantage of the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act, he or she can still apply for asylum. There are many human rights abuses in Cuba that would make people afraid to return to or remain in Cuba.
The U.S. State Department lists the principal human rights abuses in Cuba as “abridgement of the right of citizens to change their government; government threats, intimidation, mobs, harassment, and detentions to prevent citizens from assembling peacefully.”

According to reports, it was common for government officials to detain people for political reasons, and prisoners were often harassed and tortured. Free speech is only allowed to the extent that is supports the government and socialism; anyone who speaks out against either can be sent to jail. If people assemble to protest, the government typically organizes mobs to attach protestors. While the Cuban president’s daughter, Mariela Castro, has spoken out in favor of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, activists report that discrimination against LGBT people is common.

If you are Cuban and you are interested in obtaining permanent residence in the United States, New York Human Rights Committee may be able to help you. Call us at +1 (800) 560-1768 today. We are available 24/7.