Don't hold your breath
A federal judge in Miami has issued a decision that would allow a deal between immigration officials and lawyers representing Cubans who were re-patriated to their homeland. This is another chapter of the notorious bridge story of a few months back.
All but one of the Cubans will now be issued a visa, the one who won't be has a criminal history. The lawyers won their battle, but do they really think Fidel Castro is going to let these people go now? I wouldn't count on it.
Open Post- Bullwinkle Blog, Bright and Early, Right Wing Nation, Real Ugly American,
A Miami federal judge has agreed to a new deal between the U.S. government and the legal team for 14 repatriated Cubans so they can return to the United States in the wake of their disputed January landing on an old Florida Keys bridge.
U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno issued his decision late Thursday, but it remains up to Cuban leader Fidel Castro to decide whether to allow the migrants to leave the island.
The agreement -- citing ''the humanitarian value'' of resolving the dispute promptly -- requires the federal government to issue U.S. visas to the Cubans. But one migrant who made the journey, Lazaro Jesus Martinez Jimenez, won't be granted a visa because he has a criminal history.
In February, Moreno ordered the U.S. government to make arrangements for the repatriated Cubans to be brought back to the United States after the judge ruled they landed on U.S. soil when they reached an abandoned bridge in the Florida Keys.
The judge found the Cubans ''were removed to Cuba illegally'' in January after the U.S. Coast Guard wrongly concluded the old Seven Mile Bridge was not connected to the United States.
Moreno's decision marked the first time the government had been ordered to allow Cubans into the United States after they'd been repatriated to Cuba under the ''wet-foot, dry-foot'' immigration policy.
Moreno had given the government a March 30 deadline to consider the Cubans' eligibility to obtain the appropriate federal documents to enter the United States. But Castro remained the wild card.
Moreno's geographical finding was a critical point because under the government's decade-old policy, Cuban migrants who reach U.S. soil are allowed to stay and apply for residency, but those intercepted at sea are generally returned to Cuba.
The Keys bridge case exploded into a flash point for the exile community, which used it to confront the Bush administration's interpretation of the controversial policy.