Is this the policy for all asylum-seekers, including those arriving from Mexico and Central America at the southern border? Because as far as I’m aware, everyone claiming asylum after entering the U.S. by land is petitioning for admission to this country, not another.
Why would Cubans and Haitians, arriving by sea, be treated differently?
It’s … not because their voting patterns tend to run against the administration’s electoral interests, is it? Biden’s dream of turning Florida blue again died at the hands of Cuban-Americans there last November. Imagine thousands more Cuban refugees alighting on Florida’s beaches, bringing their hatred of socialism to a state with the third-highest number of electoral votes.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to Cubans: “The time is never right to attempt migration by sea … Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.” pic.twitter.com/X8jeJMeKiX
— The Recount (@therecount) July 13, 2021
He clarified that even if they make it to Florida, they won’t be staying in Florida:
"If individuals make, establish a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for resettlement. They will not enter the United States," Mayorkas said.
— Camilo Montoya-Galvez (@camiloreports) July 13, 2021
A fun fact about Mayorkas: He was born in Havana and his Cuban parents fled to the U.S. the year after Castro came to power. He lived in Miami before the family moved to California.
I’ll play devil’s advocate for a moment. The voyage by sea for Cuban and Haitian refugees would be treacherous so Mayorkas has an interest in discouraging it. Some might die en route and he’d naturally want to prevent that. Furthermore, it’s the policy of the U.S. right now to discourage asylum-seekers from coming to our border. Kamala Harris was in Central America just a few weeks ago warning people “do not come.” Mayorkas himself has repeatedly tried to dissuade migrants from making the journey, although those warnings tend to take the form of “you can come later, once we have a handle on processing arrivals” rather than “don’t come at all.” All he’s doing with Cubans and Haitians today is affirming the baseline message that now’s not a good time to go looking for asylum.
…except he’s doing more than that, isn’t he? Why is he so eager to clarify that anyone arriving from those countries will be sent elsewhere? I completely fail to see why people trekking to the border overland should get to stay in the United States potentially while people trekking here by sea get handed off to some ally like Canada or Mexico. The disparate treatment is glaring given how people of Cuban ancestry famously tend to prefer right-wing politicians to left-wing ones. What’s the nonpartisan explanation for DHS’s double standard here?