President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security Secretary threatened Cubans fleeing the communist regime controlling their island with deportation if they try to escape to the United States.
“Allow me to be clear. If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday. “The time is never right to attempt migration by sea. To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking.”
DHS Secretary @AliMayorkas threatens fleeing Cuban refugees: "Allow me to be clear, if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States … Again, I repeat, do not risk your life attempting to enter the United States illegally. You will not come to the United States." pic.twitter.com/gSsLbbCuSH
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 14, 2021
Mayorkas, who fled from Cuba to Florida and eventually California with his family following the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro, could have used the public speaking opportunity to address corrupt Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and condemn the regime’s willingness to shut down dissenters. Instead, he chose to double down on anti-Cuban migration rhetoric.
“Again, I repeat, do not risk your life attempting to enter the United States illegally. You will not come to the United States,” he reiterated before explaining that the U.S. Coast Guard already began designated sea and air watches in the straits between Florida and Cuba following the unrest over the weekend.
“Any migrant intercepted at sea, regardless of their nationality, will not be permitted to enter the United States,” Mayorkas concluded.
Mayorkas’s comments follow days of protests against the island’s communist regime and the impoverished conditions that come with living under it. As pent-up rage about the authoritarian regime spread, Cuban officials rushed to block the internet, dismiss anti-government content as “disinformation,” and crack down on dissidents which could further taint the country’s image.
Mayorkas’s hardline stance against asylum seekers fleeing the oppressive government in Cuba comes as the Biden administration struggles to reconcile its pro-illegal immigration stance with the crisis at the southern border, while rampant COVID-19 transmission tears through government-run migrant housing facilities.
While Mayorkas turns his back on migrants fleeing communist Cuba, the number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border is climbing. In May alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection made more than 180,000 apprehensions at the southern border. In addition to a rise in single individuals who “continue to make up the majority of these encounters,” Border Patrol agents saw a significant increase in drug trafficking which led to seizures of at least 18 percent more drugs than in April.
Ever since Biden assumed office, Cubans have been some of the many migrants from across Latin America crossing the southwest border. Unlike any Cubans who attempt to enter the United States via the Caribbean Sea, many of these land-crossing migrants have been released into the country pending an asylum hearing. Any Cubans seeking to flee the communist dictatorship could technically sail to Matamoros, Mexico and walk across the U.S. border to Brownsville, Texas, where the Biden administration would likely release them.