By Julio Ochoa
Are Cuban immigrants political refugees or not?
The United States government thinks they are and gives them special treatment, allowing them to apply for citizenship after making it onto American soil.
But political refugees aren’t normally permitted to freely return to the country they fled. If they go back, they could face imprisonment, or worse, assassination.
That’s where Cubans have their cake and eat it too. Once they get their U.S. citizenship, they can return to their country every three years.
A bill recently introduced into Congress would drop the three-year restriction and allow Cuban-Americans to return to visit family whenever they want.
That’s an erosion of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, some, including Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, say.
Others believe Cuban-Americans should be allowed to visit immediate family members whenever they want.
But does that fit the definition of a political refugee?