The End of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” Signals Equality


For the first time sine 1995, all migrants will be sharing the same immigration rights.

Yeileny Lopez, Staff Writer

A week before Trump’s inauguration, former president Obama decided to put an end to the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy in the United States. Obama is known for being a president who believes in equality for all despite their differences. The “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy went against what Obama believes since it created disparity between humans. Only Cuban migrants were able to access residency rights after a year, while other migrants would have to live life in the fear of getting deported back to their home country. Some say Obama made this decision in order to give the 45th president, Trump, the task of deciding to lose Cuban supporters if he does not renew the policy or looking like a hypocrite for renewing it because of his stated immigration beliefs. Despite Obama’s intentions, the end of this policy means that migrants are all unified and have the same rights.

While living under the Cuban dictatorship is dreadful, there are many other countries who suffer from a corrupt government. It is not fair that these privileges afforded to Cubans are not presented to every single migrant. For instance, Venezuela is also a failed country with a corrupt government just like Cuba, but Venezuelans are not granted the same migration rights. It is all about moral values and equality. As a nation, every single person should have the same rights despite his or her background.  To think that the U.S. can give every single migrant the same rights the policy allows, would mean being idealist. However, since U.S. citizens know that that option does not work and that it will hurt the U.S. economically, the correct thing was to get rid of the policy.

“I think Obama did this because he knew that Trump nearly had a fifth of Cuban American Republicans that voted for him. Besides that, I am glad that there’s no more privileges going  around only for Cubans because that’s not fair,” sophomore Jazmin Gonzalez said.

However, there are positive attributes to the policy that the government can benefit from. Economically, Cubans who have already gotten their working papers will be able to contribute to the nation’s economy. Since they are legally working, they will have to do taxes. Furthermore, if the number of people doing taxes every year increases, then the government will have more money to put to use.  This money can be used towards public schools, Social Security, health care expenses such as Medicare, Safety net programs, and many more things that help the U.S. function as a nation on a regular basis. Opposers of the end of the policy believe that the U.S. is closing the doors of freedom to people who have to suffer under the hand of a communist leader.

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I’m in between thoughts whether it’s good or bad. It’s good because we’d finally all be equal, but at the same time, there’s many people that have to go back to the communist way of life.

— sophomore Gabrille Torna said

Nevertheless, all these positive attributes are overlooked when we are wasting more money on these people to help them out until they “figure out their lives” and get their papers. Some Cuban migrants take years to adjust their way of living and do not contribute anything to society, while the U.S. is “wasting” its money on them. Additionally, it is inequitable for citizens who have worked so hard to retire and just have some migrants come to the U.S. and not do anything but still get the same amount of money for help.

The “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy was discriminatory towards other migrants who were trying to reach the same goal the Cubans were: the American Dream. The fact that U.S. is ending the policy means that every single migrant no matter what race or where they come from will finally be equal. Those who were watching Cubans get their freedom will no longer feel “different” or inferior. Unfortunately, equality for all comes at the price of Cuban freedom.