A new ‘freedom caravan’ of primarily Cuban migrants is trying to reach US
Friday, February 15th, 2019 at 4:14pm

www.abqjournal.com | 2/15/2019 | Staff
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MIAMI — Four years after the first Cuban migration crisis in Central America, about 600 Cubans and another 120 migrants from Haiti and Africa are again in Panama as part of a “freedom caravan” to the United States.

“We want to go on! We want to go on!” the migrants are seen shouting at officials of Panama’s National Border Service in videos posted on social media over the weekend.

Goal - United - States - Asylum - US

Their goal is to reach the United States and ask for asylum, although U.S. regulations and policies that once benefited Cuban migrants have changed significantly.

In 2017, former President Barack Obama eliminated the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allowed most Cubans who set foot on U.S. territory to remain. Nonetheless, Cubans continue to arrive in the United States. Most request political asylum, a legal process that requires proof they would be persecuted if returned to the island.

Group - Panama - Others - Central - America

The migrant group now in Panama is much like others organized in Central America to head to the U.S. border with Mexico. They are traveling as a group through the region. President Donald Trump has asked Congress for funds to build a wall to protect the country from undocumented immigration, and referred to the caravans during his State of the Union speech, saying he had deployed 3,750 more troops to the border.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Trump plans to declare a national emergency so he can order the military to build the border wall.

Trump - Entries - Border - Issue - Threat

Trump has called the undocumented entries through the southern border a “moral issue” and a threat to the security and financial well-being of all Americans.

One of the hundreds of Cuban migrants newly arrived in Panama told el Nuevo Herald that the group is facing a “very difficult” situation.

Women - Children - People

“We have pregnant women, children, elderly people. We want to reach the...
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