US could deport 35,000 Cubans

Washington(IANS/EFE) Over 35,000 Cubans for whom deportation orders have been issued could be repatriated to the Caribbean island as a result of the renewal of relations between the two countries, according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

According to ICE data, deportation orders have been issued for 35,106 Cubans in the US, of whom 162 are currently in custody and 34,944 are at liberty.

The ICE told EFE that, up to now, Cuba’s policy was to “occasionally” accept repatriations, including in criminal cases, something that could change soon with the new understanding between the two countries and the reestablishment of diplomatic ties.

A case apart during these years, the ICE said, has been a specific list of Cubans that the governments of the island and of the US agreed upon in 1984, and which includes 2,746 names of Cuban citizens to be repatriated.

Of those, most of whom migrated to the US from the Cuban port of Mariel, 1,999 have already been repatriated.

US Secretary of State John Kerry will on Monday receive Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, the first time that a foreign minister of Cuba visits the State Department in more than half a century, the US government said.

Kerry will not attend the formal reopening ceremony at the Cuban embassy in Washington on Monday, but he will receive Rodriguez later at the State Department, where the two will take part in a joint press conference.

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