Cubans who never lived or worked in the United States retire to Florida and live off food stamps, Medicaid, and welfare. Some collect and don’t even live here. Miami-Dade is number one in elderly welfare in the nation because of it. Since 2003, more than 329,000 Cuban immigrants arrived in Florida and were eligible for refugee aid. They now make up nine out of 10 foreigners getting refugee services in the state. Another 51,000 just poured in this past year alone and the numbers are growing.
For more than five decades, the U.S. has given Cubans unique immigration status and benefits because they are presumed to be refugees. But they are coming now for welfare and other freebies. Many go back to Cuba and have relatives cash their checks.
More than 51,000 undocumented Cubans entered the United States last year: a dramatic surge over 2014. They are flying in from our southern border. Five Central American countries and Mexico inked a deal last month that facilitates their travel into the U.S.
That is an 84 percent increase over 2014.
“The numbers are going up and are going up fast,” said Sebastian Arcos, associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.
Cubans have a special status and get benefits immediately, without proper screening. They simply have to say they’re refugees. The unique immigration status is instant legalization and a quick path to citizenship. They get instant welfare, food, shelter and Social Security.
There is inadequate vetting from this communist nation that is a clear enemy of the United States.
It’s well known in Cuba that you come here when you are a senior. We have 90 year olds coming and we know that they cost our healthcare system a great deal.
“They’re getting cheap apartments, food stamps,” said Cuban-born attorney Pedro Fuentes-Cid of Tampa. “They tell their friends in Cuba, and they come over.”
The welfare benefits are better than pensions in Cuba which are about $7 a month.
In addition to these numbers, another 20,000 Cubans get official permission to come in and then there are the visa overstays. Our government doesn’t track them.
Since President Obama announced the renewal of diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014, more and more Cubans have decamped for the United States. Many have cited a bleak Cuban economy and said they feared the U.S. would soon revoke their special status, which generally allows them to stay, with benefits, once they arrive in the U.S.