TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

44,000 Cuban migrants arrive in U.S. in fiscal year '13

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Miami Herald
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 8:42 p.m.
 

MIAMI — In mid-July, a public health clinic in Miami had such a sharp increase in Cuban migrants walking in for required health screenings that it had to expand its hours of operation.

The number of Cubans going to the Florida State Department of Health clinic surged by 20 percent in June, compared to the three-year average for the month, and experts in South Florida noted similar increases in arrivals.

By the end of August, the clinic had returned to its regular hours.

Cuban migrant arrivals in South Florida have subsided. But at least 44,000 arrived in the United States in fiscal year 2013, which ended Sept. 30. It was the highest total since 1994 and 10 percent higher than the estimated 40,000 arrivals in fiscal year 2012.

Several factors contributed to the increase: More U.S. visas issued to Cubans; rumors that U.S. benefits for Cuban migrants might be cut; Spain's economic crisis; Cuba's easing of its migration rules on Jan. 14; and a crackdown on Cubans living in Ecuador.

The U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana issued 24,727 immigrant visas in fiscal year 2013, a slight drop from the 26,720 in the previous year, according to government figures. Washington promised to issue at least 20,000 migrant visas a year to Cubans after the 1994 “Rafter Crisis,” during which 35,000 migrants took to homemade boats, to discourage such risky voyages.

The number of tourist visas issued in the same periods more than doubled, from 14,362 to 29,927, the figures showed.

Officials say that on average, 20 percent of tourist visa recipients remained to live in the United States in recent years, suggesting that about 6,000 of the 29,927 visitors will become migrants.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Superstorm Sandy-hit areas in New York, New Jersey remain vulnerable
  2. Hungry Yosemite National Park bears tracked by GPS
  3. Congress rankings detail its ‘poorest’ federal lawmakers
  4. Teacher tried to stop school shooting
  5. Officers swarm California counties as deputies killed in shooting rampage
  6. 3 Supreme Court justices offer Yale students an insider’s look at personalities
  7. 2 California deputies slain, suspect captured
  8. Teacher tried to stop Washington state shooting
  9. Hawaiians on notice over lava flow
  10. Anti-abortion group tries to sway votes of women in Democratic households
  11. Chicago train riders to undergo random baggage screening
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.