Cuban Migration to US Nearly Doubles in Last Quarter of 2015

AP — HAVANA — Nearly twice as many Cuban migrants reached the U.S. by foot and sea in the last three months of 2015 as in the same period the year earlier, the northbound exodus swelling after the restoration of diplomatic relations and amid fears of the loss of migration privileges.

Department of Homeland Security figures show about 17,000 Cubans reached the United States from October through December. Slightly more than 9,200 Cuban migrants arrived during the same months in 2014.

The surge has been driven in part by Cubans’ fears that warmer ties between the governments, announced in December 2014, mean they could lose privileges that now let them stay in the United States if they reach American soil – a policy originally based on the assumption those fleeing Cuba were largely political refugees.

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