Immigration Envy Grows as Cubans Get Easy Access

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Hundreds of Cubans and visitors from other countries gather across the street from the newly reopened U.S. Embassy to observe the flag-raising ceremony August 14, 2015 in Havana, Cuba.
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Click on the audio player above to hear this interview.

Since the U.S. and Cuba normalized relations, Cuban migration into the U.S. has spiked exponentially, which is upsetting Central Americans, Mexicans, and other immigrant groups.

In fact, in 2015, over 40,000 Cubans entered the U.S. through land ports, according to Pew Research. Many were flying to Ecuador—until December, visas weren't required for travel north—before they eventually made their way to the U.S./Mexico border.

At the border, Cubans are asked some simple questions and then given a temporary visa. Once on American soil, they're given financial assistance and can apply for a green card after a year of residency.

Geoff Thale, the program director at Washington Office on Latin America, an advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas, talks about the spike in Cuban migration and its fallout. 

What you'll learn from this segment:

  • What's causing the dramatic spike in Cuban immigration.
  • How the U.S. approach to Cuban immigration has and hasn't changed in recent years.
  • Why other immigrant groups resent Cubans.