Press Release

Cuellar, Farenthold Introduce the CUBA Act

Bill will ensure Cubans are held to same immigration standards as nationals of other countries

Washington, March 23, 2016 | Riley Brands ((202) 226-0507)
Today Congressmen Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX-27) introduced the Correcting Unfair Benefits for Aliens (CUBA) Act (click for text). The bill would ensure that Cuban immigrants are held to the same immigration standards as nationals of other countries with which the United States has established diplomatic relations. Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba were formally re-established in July of last year.

“I have introduced this legislation today in partnership with my friend from Texas, Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-TX-27), in an effort to level the playing field for all those seeking to enter this country,” Congressman Cuellar said. “The preferential immigration status and benefits we bestow on Cuban migrants, through the Cuban Adjustment Act, the Refugee Education Assistance Act and the wet foot/dry foot policy, are relics of a bygone era and a cold war that has long since passed. With the president’s historic visit to the country this week as well as the normalization of relations, we shouldn’t lose sight of the thousands of people from regions like Central America who are fleeing serious threats from drug violence and face a disadvantage when compared with Cubans. The need remains for comprehensive immigration reform, but in the meantime, we shouldn’t be handing out special status and benefits for a select group.”

“With President Obama restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, the immigration preferential treatment given to Cubans who enter the United States no longer makes sense,” Congressman Farenthold said. “We are seeing an influx of Cubans at the Texas-Mexico border who are immediately admitted to this country and have an extremely fast pathway to citizenship, and a generous taxpayer funded benefits package. The state of Texas is already seeing a 60 percent increase in migrants attempting to enter the state from Cuba, and we should hold all immigrants to the same standards in order to ensure the safety and vitality of our communities.”

The CUBA Act would repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act (Public Law 89-732) of 1966 and ensures that Cuban immigrants receive the same treatment as other nationals.