Cuban Refugee Airlifts Continue

I hope you paid your taxes. The federal government needs YOUR money for welfare and SSI for the Cuban refugee’s that have been flooding America. Senator Marco Rubio is attempting to end some of the special treatment given to Cubans, but Ted Cruz won’t be on-board he believes it should continue.

“But U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who has made his father’s story of fleeing Cuba a centerpiece of his campaign for the White House, said the act should only be repealed when Cuba is a free country.”

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From the Miami Herald;

The U.S. Senate refused to vote Thursday on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s bid to stop giving automatic welfare benefits to Cuban immigrants, prompting an exasperated Rubio to take to the Senate floor to blast political paralysis in Congress.

“This is why people are so sick of politics,” said Rubio, who noted that, until a month ago, he was a Republican presidential candidate hearing from voters about their frustrations with lawmakers. “You can vote for a Democrat, you can vote for a Republican, you can vote for a vegetarian. It doesn’t matter who you vote for: Nothing happens. These people don’t do anything.”

“No one can argue this,” he added of his proposal, which he argued would put an end to abuse by some Cubans who take the welfare dollars back to the island. “But I can’t even get a vote on an amendment to change this.”

And why not? According to Rubio, because fellow Republicans tell him, “ ‘We can’t vote on it because if we give you your amendment, then we have to give the other side their amendment.’ ” (The other side being Democrats.)

“This is crazy. This is nuts. We can’t solve problems,” Rubio said. He noted that the plan has bipartisan support: U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, is a cosponsor in the House of Representatives. Florida’s senior senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, signed on to Rubio’s bill Thursday, saying the welfare benefits “were meant to help those fleeing persecution by Castro’s oppressive regime, not to be a source of income for those who returned to Cuba.”

“This is not partisan. It’s not about getting anyone elected to anything. I’m not running for anything,” said Rubio, who’s not seeking reelection. “This is about being able to go back to my home community and say to people, ‘This abuse has been addressed.’ But if I go home tonight or tomorrow to Florida, when I go home, and I run into somebody at the grocery store, I can’t explain to them with a straight face why the Senate won’t give me a vote, because it makes no sense. If I came to you and said, ‘They are stealing $700 million a year from you, and here’s a very simple way to stop it,’ you would say, ‘Let’s do it. We’ve got to do it.’ 

The Washington Examiner reports the airlifts have not been stopped.

“We have not told them not to do the airlift,” Francisco Palmieri, a senior official in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere, testified at a hearing under questioning from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Costa Rica and Panama have flown about 8,000 Cuban migrants to northern Mexico, part of an “upsurge” in migration that has brought about 18,500 Cubans to the Texas-Laredo Border Patrol field office over a five-month period. While the U.S. hasn’t demanded an end to this, Palmieri told Rubio that the Central American countries need to enforce their own immigration laws.

Palmieri said that “there is talk of another airlift” from Panama, even though Costa Rica has pledged to lock down its borders.

“The engagement with the countries focuses on encouraging them to ensure safe legal and orderly migration,” he said. “We continue to urge the countries to enforce their migration laws, to strengthen their border controls, and to address undocumented and irregular migration by returning people to their last point of origin.”

Rubio said the United States has “significant potential leverage with these countries,” and asked repeatedly if the State Department has instructed the countries not to airlift the migrants to the southern border.

“The minute the word gets out that if you can get into this country they’re going to put you on a plane and fly you close to the U.S. border so you can get in, you’re encouraging more people to do this,” said Rubio, who chairs the Foreign Relations subcommittee on the western hemisphere.