U.S. deports 11 Cubans from long list who arrived during 1980 exodus
The 11 people who were repatriated to Cuba were on a list of 2,746
Cubans with criminal records who were tagged to be returned to the
island as part of a 1984 agreement between Havana and Washington
AND ENRIQUE FLOR
The U.S. government has deported 11 Cubans whose names were on a list of
almost 3,000 people who arrived in the country around the time of the
Nestor Yglesias, an ICE spokesman in Miami, said the "removal was in
accordance with the 1984 U.S- Cuba migration agreement that lists
specific individuals to be repatriated to Cuba."
The reference is to a list of 2,746 Cubans to be sent back to the island
that Havana and Washington agreed to in 1984, during the Reagan
administration. Those on the list have criminal records and likely
arrived during the 1980 Mariel exodus or a few years earlier or later.
Thursday's repatriation of 11 Cubans did not mark any new policy or
immigration agreement with Cuba. It was a continuation of a policy of
periodic deportations of Cubans whose names are on the 1984 list.
While there are more than 35,000 Cubans with final deportation orders,
for now there is no new bilateral agreement with Cuba to repatriate
them, nor has there been any public acknowledgment on new talks with
Cuba on an expansion of the 1984 repatriation agreement.
Nevertheless, there is wide speculation in Miami's Cuban community that
a new deportation agreement is imminent because of the recent
restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States.
Under the 1984 repatriation agreement, if ICE encounters a Cuban with a
final order of removal who fits the parameters of the accord, then ICE
will present an official diplomatic note, along with additional
documentation, requesting that the Cuban government accept return of the
individual aboard an ICE repatriation flight.
The group was repatriated to the island on a chartered plane that
departed from a cargo area at Miami International Airport (MIA), a
source who asked not to be identified told el Nuevo Herald.
In its statement, ICE did not identify any of the 11 deportees, but
Coral Gables immigration attorney Eduardo Soto said that one of his
clients — Roberto Alejo González — was deported to Cuba on Thursday.
Alejo González, 61, who was an anti-Castro activist, had been held at
the Krome immigrant detention center awaiting deportation. He had a
criminal record and had come to the United States during Mariel. Soto
asked federal court in Miami to stop the deportation, but all his
judicial pleas were rejected.
"The deportation of our client, besides destroying a beautiful family,
jeopardizes the life of a recognized opponent of the regime," Soto said
in a statement. "Let this unfortunate fact serve as a warning to the
more than 35,000 Cubans in danger of deportation that they are indeed
handing over Cubans to human rights violators."
It is unclear how many more Cubans will be deported from the 1984 list.
ICE said that by January 2015, 1,999 had already been deported. People
familiar with the process said Thursday that at present there are only
"a few hundred" left on the list.
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Source: U.S. deports 11 Cubans from long list who arrived during 1980
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