U.S. Halts Immigration of Cubans; 1,000 Affected
The Reagan Administration today suspended the admission of Cuban immigrants to the United States in a move that virtually ends a once-promising refugee agreement with the Castro government.
About 1,000 Cubans, issued visas since the agreement was concluded in December, were immediately affected. About 300 others have already been admitted.
The agreement had appeared to clear the way for the entry of up to 20,000 Cuban refugees a year as well as 3,000 former political prisoners.
About 2,500 so-called “undesirables,” some of them prisoners and mentally ill, were to be taken back by Havana. They were among 125,000 Cubans who left the island nation in the Mariel boatlift of 1980.
Cuba suspended its obligations under the agreement, however, after the Reagan Administration launched “Radio Marti” broadcasts to the island that were denounced by Havana as propaganda.
About 40 Cubans were permitted to fly to the United States after that but indirectly.
The State Department said it tried to clarify Cuba’s intentions “but we have received no indication that Cuba is prepared to resume implementation at the present time.”
Thus, the announcement said, the United States “had no choice but to suspend temporarily preference immigrant visas processing while this situation persists.”