New USCIS Headquarters in Cuba to Expedite Family Reunification Processes
HAVANA – The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced the opening of a new headquarters in Cuba, a decision that experts believe will significantly speed up the Family Reunification processes. The move could be a game-changer for Cuban applicants of the Family Reunification Parole Program (CFRP).
According to immigration law specialist Ángel Leal, the establishment of the USCIS office in Havana will bring about notable advances in resolving pending cases. This development is not only good news for CFRP applicants, but also for relatives of individuals who have obtained asylum or political refugee status in the United States.
Leal, who appeared on Telemundo51, described the move as “an expansion of the avenues” for legal migration between Cuba and the United States. He believes that this step will contribute to regularizing migratory procedures and offer Cubans the opportunity to reunite with their families through the parole system or as refugees if their loved ones have been granted asylum.
The new USCIS office will prioritize resolving pending cases related to the Family Reunification Program for Cubans, as well as processing petitions from relatives of refugees and asylum seekers residing in the United States. Niubis Robaina from the Group of Cubans with Family Claim expressed relief, stating that the reunification processes had been stagnant for far too long, causing many applicants to resort to illegal means to reunite with their loved ones in the United States.
However, despite the positive developments on the family reunification front, illegal migration via the US-Mexico border continues to pose challenges. Since May 12, the Joe Biden administration has implemented stricter immigration policies, resulting in the expulsion of approximately 145,000 migrants without meeting the new requirements for asylum qualification.
The new rules make it considerably more difficult for individuals who entered irregularly through the US-Mexico border to gain entry, unless they request an appointment through a mobile application or have been denied necessary protection in a third country of passage. In a recent development, a fifth deportation flight from the United States arrived in Cuba on Thursday, illustrating the ongoing efforts to deter illegal migration.
Despite these challenges, an average of nine flights per day continue to arrive in Nicaragua, carrying Cubans seeking to cross the US-Mexico border. The situation highlights the desperation and determination of individuals willing to endure arduous journeys to pursue better futures for themselves and their families.
USCIS Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, explained that the reopening of the new USCIS headquarters in Cuba aims to address irregular border crossings, disrupt human smuggling networks, and provide simplified legal and safe routes for those seeking humanitarian relief in the United States. The move reflects the Biden administration’s efforts to navigate the complex landscape of immigration policies and promote security while addressing humanitarian concerns.