wet foot dry foot

Courtesy National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation added Miami’s Little Havana Neighborhood to its list of “National Treasures,"  which contains more than 75 buildings, neighborhoods and natural landscapes threatened by development or neglect.

The only other treasure from Florida is another Miami landmark, the Miami Marine Stadium.

Madeline Fox / WLRN News

As it got dark on Thursday evening, Cuban Americans congregated in the light put out by the cafecito window of Versailles, the Cuban café on Calle Ocho, to talk about the sudden end of decades-old policy granting Cuban migrants special status in U.S. immigration.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The "wet foot, dry foot" policy is over. For more than 20 years, Cubans migrating to the U.S. enjoyed that special privilege, which meant if they made it to dry land here they could stay. President Barack Obama ended it on Thursday– and even most Cubans here agree with him.

President Bill Clinton created the wet foot-dry foot policy in 1995 as a way to appease both the Cuban government and Cuban exile leaders. But since then it’s become a controversial rule that many Cuban-Americans say is antiquated now that the U.S. and Cuba have normalized relations.

Desmond Boylan / AP

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is ending a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to U.S. soil to stay and become a legal resident, a senior administration official said Thursday.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Cuban culture has dominated Miami for decades. Cuban-Americans are the area’s largest Latino group and have loads of political representation.

 

But the number -- and influence -- of immigrants from other Latin American countries is growing. And there’s a tense debate over the immigration privileges Cubans enjoy -- because no other immigrant group gets them.