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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

U.S. Department
of State


Daily Press Briefing (Corrected)
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 1, 2003

[ ... ]

QUESTION: I think you implicitly addressed this before, but can you specifically address Cuban authorities who say that U.S. immigration policy towards Cubans is what is to blame for incidents like this [hijacking] because it serves as a sort of encouragement for people to do whatever they can to get here?

MR. REEKER: Implicit or explicit, it is clear that Cubans seek to flee Cuba because they lack political and economic freedom in their own country. That is what is spurring them to undertake often illegal voyages to the United States. It's not U.S. law that encourages that. Our policy, again, is that Cubans should arrive here only through safe, legal and orderly means. So I think it is, again, Cuba that needs to examine the way they treat their people, the way they have for decades, and why their people are so eager to flee their country and seek better opportunities elsewhere, including in the United States.

[ ... ]

[ End ]



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