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Cuban Migrants Who Landed On Bridge Piling Are Repatriated


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Guest Juanky

Cuban Migrants Who Landed On Bridge Piling Are Repatriated

 

Fifteen Cubans who fled their homeland and landed on an abandoned bridge piling in the Florida Keys were returned to Cuba late Monday morning, Coast Guard officials said.

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The migrants' case drew attention after the

U.S. Coast Guard decided that the piling they landed on did not constitute dry land.

 

A Cuban advocacy group angry over the U.S. Coast Guard's interpretation of the controversial "wet foot, dry foot" policy gathered off the McArthur Causeway to protest.

 

Movimiento Democracia asked that the 15 refugees who touched the old Seven Mile Bridge south of Marathon Key on Thursday be allowed to stay. Its leader, Ramon Saul Sanchez, has been on a hunger strike in front of the Coast Guard station since noon Saturday on behalf of the Cubans. As of 3 p.m., there was no word on whether Sanchez would end his hunger strike, since the Cubans have been repatriated.

 

Sanchez, along with about 35 others from the group, has made his cause visible to the public, displaying signs that read, "Hunger strike for freedom. Mr. President, respectfully, immigrants have rights too," and refusing food and water from those concerned by his actions.

 

The Coast Guard rescued the 15 Cubans from a piling holding up a section of the bridge Thursday. They rafted their way from Cuba late Monday or early Tuesday.

 

Under the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, Cubans who reach U.S. soil are generally allowed to stay, while those intercepted at sea are generally repatriated.

 

But the part of the old bridge piling that the Cubans touched is no longer connected to land -- a gray area in the law that Sanchez and his supporters believe is unfair.

 

"The particular structure that they were found upon is not connected to land. The 'bridge' is kind of a misnomer," said Coast Guard Lt. Commander Chris O'Neil, spokesman for the department's Southeast region.

 

O'Neil said officials in Washington determined the Cubans should be considered "feet wet," because they were not able to walk to land from where they landed.

 

"We recognize that the old Key West bridge is part of the United States, as much as the Statue of Liberty, and (that the government should) allow the Cubans that were found there, as the law says, to remain in freedom in the United States," Sanchez said.

 

The Coast Guard said that the 15 Cubans were not subject to the "wet foot, dry foot" policy because the piling is not connected to land, but Sanchez points to the Statue of Liberty as a prime example. He believes if the Statue of Liberty is considered "dry foot" but is not connected to land -- although arguably the nation's most-symbolic monument rests on Liberty Island -- that the same rules should apply in this case.

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This case could open a pretty big can of worms for immigration and other aspects of life as it deals to property identification internationally if it ever makes it to court in the United States. Since they were repatriated, however, I'm not sure the full effect would ever be known.

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*flame suit on*

 

So why do Cubans get special treatment over Haitians? That is something I have never understood. For all that is bad about the Cuban government, its a hundred times better than living in Haiti.

 

 

 

*Prepares to get flamed*

 

 

 

Granted, both groups deserve equal immigration status to the US but geezus, what makes Cubans more special than Haitians?

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Guest Moneyball

The Coast Guard said that the 15 Cubans were not subject to the "wet foot, dry foot" policy because the piling is not connected to land, but Sanchez points to the Statue of Liberty as a prime example. He believes if the Statue of Liberty is considered "dry foot" but is not connected to land -- although arguably the nation's most-symbolic monument rests on Liberty Island -- that the same rules should apply in this case.

 

The Statue of Liberty is on American land. :blink:

 

*flame suit on*

 

So why do Cubans get special treatment over Haitians? That is something I have never understood. For all that is bad about the Cuban government, its a hundred times better than living in Haiti.

 

 

 

*Prepares to get flamed*

 

 

 

Granted, both groups deserve equal immigration status to the US but geezus, what makes Cubans more special than Haitians?

 

 

Because they don't have the political power the Cuban-American population has in Washington, that simple.

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Guest Juanky

The Coast Guard said that the 15 Cubans were not subject to the "wet foot, dry foot" policy because the piling is not connected to land, but Sanchez points to the Statue of Liberty as a prime example. He believes if the Statue of Liberty is considered "dry foot" but is not connected to land -- although arguably the nation's most-symbolic monument rests on Liberty Island -- that the same rules should apply in this case.

The Statue of Liberty is on American land. :blink: You're forgetting the context of the statement though. The Coast Guard argued that the pillar wasn't connected to dry land, so it isn't technically part of the United States. The Statue of Liberty is also not connected to dry land, so it wouldn't be part of the United States either?

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Guest Moneyball

The Coast Guard said that the 15 Cubans were not subject to the "wet foot, dry foot" policy because the piling is not connected to land, but Sanchez points to the Statue of Liberty as a prime example. He believes if the Statue of Liberty is considered "dry foot" but is not connected to land -- although arguably the nation's most-symbolic monument rests on Liberty Island -- that the same rules should apply in this case.

The Statue of Liberty is on American land. :blink: You're forgetting the context of the statement though. The Coast Guard argued that the pillar wasn't connected to dry land, so it isn't technically part of the United States. The Statue of Liberty is also not connected to dry land, so it wouldn't be part of the United States either?

 

But the Statue is on an island. I can see the CGs point if the bridge isn't connected to land like most of the condemned bridges in the Keys are.

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Guest Juanky

This specific part of the bridge isn't connected to the mainland, so it's basically like it's own island. Like the Statue.

 

A loose interpretation could say that to apply wet foot/dry foot the immigrants would have to land on the continental United States, since that is "dry land".

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Guest Moneyball

This specific part of the bridge isn't connected to the mainland, so it's basically like it's own island. Like the Statue.

 

A loose interpretation could say that to apply wet foot/dry foot the immigrants would have to land on the continental United States, since that is "dry land".

 

 

The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, which is on American soil. A bridge with both of it's links to any piece of land severed shouldn't count as soil. If he was found clinging to a channel marker should that have counted as US soil?

 

If they had landed in the Dry Tortugas they would have been allowed to stay.

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The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, which is on American soil. A bridge with both of it's links to any piece of land severed shouldn't count as soil. If he was found clinging to a channel marker should that have counted as US soil?

 

If they had landed in the Dry Tortugas they would have been allowed to stay.

Let's think about it this way - let's say the bridge would have been damamged in a storm and had both of its connections to land severed. Is it United States' soil?

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Guest Moneyball

The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, which is on American soil. A bridge with both of it's links to any piece of land severed shouldn't count as soil. If he was found clinging to a channel marker should that have counted as US soil?

 

If they had landed in the Dry Tortugas they would have been allowed to stay.

Let's think about it this way - let's say the bridge would have been damamged in a storm and had both of its connections to land severed. Is it United States' soil?

 

Oh come on Juanky that's reaching.....and no it's not American soil anymore because the structure isn't connected to land anymore.

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*flame suit on*

 

So why do Cubans get special treatment over Haitians? That is something I have never understood. For all that is bad about the Cuban government, its a hundred times better than living in Haiti.

 

 

 

*Prepares to get flamed*

 

 

 

Granted, both groups deserve equal immigration status to the US but geezus, what makes Cubans more special than Haitians?

 

One group is black and the other, isn't.

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Guest Moneyball

So, who owns and is responsible for this condemned bridge?

 

 

The United States, but the structure is not connected to any US soil. So does the guy deserve to stay if he's hanging on to a channel marker? Because a bridge that isn't connected to US soil and a piece of steel girdle sticking out of the water are the same thing.

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If it's the US' property, it should be considered the US' soil.

 

I mean, if it isn't technically US soil than someone can just go up and claim, then take it and do with it as they wish. Would this be alright?

 

Also, if it isn't US soil, it's independent territory. That means the exile had as much claim to it as the Coast Guard did since technically it's not part of the United States, voiding his return to Cuba anyways.

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Guest Moneyball

If it's the US' property, it should be considered the US' soil.

 

I mean, if it isn't technically US soil than someone can just go up and claim, then take it and do with it as they wish. Would this be alright?

 

Also, if it isn't US soil, it's independent territory. That means the exile had as much claim to it as the Coast Guard did since technically it's not part of the United States, voiding his return to Cuba anyways.

 

 

So if it were like that then they should be allowed to stay because the CG vessel is US property.

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The vessel intercepted them, they didn't technically "reach" United States territory. Also, I believe legislators and those in jurisprudence would have an issue with identifying a moving craft as part of United States territory though the ship is property of an agent that operates within the United States. The bridge, however, is completely stationery and was reached voluntarily by the refugee rather than being forced aboard. Since the United States still lays claim to this bridge as part of their territory, they should maintain it as being part of their territory at all times. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

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They were already on our territory.

 

 

 

"Wet foot, dry foot" has nothing to do with property identification...it's just something we negotiated with Cuba in an attempt to consistently define who gets to stay and who gets sent back, while scaling back our previous open floodgates policy.

 

A migrant who's caught less than 3 miles offshore is already in federal and state territorial waters, but he'll get sent back to Cuba anyways. Does the fact that, for more than 10 years--under a deal we negotiated with Cuba--we've been repatriating people who are on territory we already have jurisdiction over mean it's no longer our territory? Of course not. That's why it's "wet foot, dry foot"--not "non-US territory-foot, US territory-foot."

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