President Joe Biden is full of compassion for Hispanics fleeing their home countries. There’s one exception: liberty-loving Cubans.
Biden’s abandoning practically all controls on the southern border. Despite saying, “Do not come,” the White House is adopting policies that send a clear message: “Cross illegally and you can stay.”
At the same time, Biden’s slamming the door on Cubans setting sail for Florida to escape a communist dictatorship. These anti-communists are not the kind of Hispanics that Democrats like.
Customs and Border Patrol agents on the southern border are literally reaching out to help illegals wade across the Rio Grande. But, under orders from Biden, the Coast Guard is capturing Cubans heading for America in dinghies and rickety rafts and depositing them back in Cuba.
Floridians with seaworthy craft are assembling flotillas to sail just outside the three-mile mark around Cuba. But Homeland Security is warning that if they rescue Cuban defectors and bring them to America, they could face daily fines of up to $250,000 and five years in prison. So they should let them drown instead?
It’s been suggested that Biden wants to avoid a repeat of the Mariel Boatlift of 1980, when over 125,000 Cubans landed on U.S. shores in just five months. But that number pales in comparison to the influx Biden is allowing at the southern border. In June alone, a staggering 188,000 illegals were counted by Border Patrol, in addition to the thousands who slipped through undetected.
Biden’s actually planning to loosen southern border controls more, allowing single adults to remain — not just families and unaccompanied minors.
What could explain the indifference to Cubans? It’s possibly a political calculation. Most Cuban Americans who gain citizenship vote for Republicans. They’ve lived the horrors of socialism and have no appetite for the Democrats’ socialist rhetoric. Other Hispanic voters tend to support Democrats, according to the Pew Research Center. The more of them who settle here, the bigger the future Democratic electorate.
Biden’s also kowtowing to the far-left flank of his party, who like socialism and the Havana dictator.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas told Cubans on July 13: “If you take to the sea,” you will not be allowed in the United States, even if you can prove “a well-founded fear of persecution or torture.” That’s a 180-degree turn from how fleeing Cubans used to be treated.
Beginning in 1995, Cubans fleeing communist oppression were given special treatment when they reached U.S. shores. They were welcomed and put on a path to citizenship. That changed in President Barack Obama’s final year when he tried to build a relationship with the communist regime. Among concessions, he ended the generous policy toward Cuban exiles and put them on the same footing as any other illegals.
Now, under Biden, they’re being treated worse than other illegals.
Under American law, asylum seekers can resettle in the U.S. if they demonstrate “well-founded fear” that returning to their homeland would cost them their lives. That law has been stretched like a rubber band for southern border crossers.
Cubans can actually demonstrate a “well-founded fear,” but Mayorkas is hinting that Cubans who seek asylum will be interviewed offshore and resettled to a third country such as Australia, not allowed in the U.S.
Talk is cheap. Biden is praising the Cuban rebels and deploring communism, but his deeds don’t match up. He’s dithered on restoring Cuba’s internet connections, which the communist thugs cut off. He’s also made no move yet to fortify the rebels with food, medicine, computers and cellphones — the tools of revolution.
Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela — a roster of tyrants — all support the Cuban dictator and warned the U.S. not to interfere. This is a clear sign the U.S. needs to provide help.
Cuba supporters in Miami and Tampa have been marching with American flags and chanting, “Where is Biden?” He needs to take the cue. History is in the making, and delay could tilt the scale against a free Cuba.
PHOTO: Premiers Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro of Cuba shake hands and start to embrace in Moscow. Castro made a state visit to the Soviet Union in 1963. Photo by Tullio Saba. Public Domain Mark 1.0.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "The Next Pandemic," available at Amazon.com. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.