U.S. records plunge of "irregular migration" from Cuba

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-12 13:27:28|Editor: Mengjie
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- The United States has recorded a significant reduction in "irregular migration" from Cuba since the end of a longstanding migration policy in January, said the U.S. State Department on Monday.

From fiscal year 2016 to 2017, which began on Oct. 1 and ended on Sept. 30, apprehensions of Cuban migrants at U.S. ports of entry decreased by 64 percent, while maritime interdictions of Cuban migrants decreased by 71 percent, according to data provided by the department in a statement released in the day.

The dramatic drop followed the annulment of the "wet-foot/dry-foot" policy in mid January, a special U.S. immigration policy that granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the United States without visas.

The outdated law, which had been in place for more than 20 years, is one of the Cold War-era policies that persisted despite the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

U.S. and Cuban officials of foreign affairs discussed the significant drop of irregular migration in biannual migration talks held in Washington on Monday.

During their talks, the U.S. side also announced it has fulfilled the commitment to issuing a minimum of 20,000 documents to facilitate legal migration in the fiscal year of 2017, a goal set in a bilateral migration accord.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro announced on Dec. 17, 2014 that the two countries would normalize relations after more than a half century of enmity.

The two former Cold War foes re-established diplomatic relations in 2015.