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Cuban immigrants stranded in Nuevo Laredo

Obama ends 'wet foot, dry foot' policy; most immigrants will be deported

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – Dozens of Cuban immigrants are stuck at the Texas-Mexico border in Nuevo Laredo after President Obama’s decision Thursday to end the "wet foot, dry foot" policy.

This 22-year-old policy allowed Cuban immigrants without visas to legally remain in the U.S. once they entered American soil.

Nearly 35,000 Cubans entered the U.S. through Laredo during the last fiscal year. Many of those who are now stuck at the border endured months of travel. Most, if not all, will be deported back to Cuba.

“I got here the day before, and they gave me an appointment for the following day,” said Angel Orlando Fernandez Diaz, who is currently stranded in Mexico. “And when I go in for my appointment, they tell me that’s no longer valid. They had gotten rid of the law.”

The immigrants are relying on food and shelter from an immigrant organization in Mexico. Many said they are determined to wait until President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated on Friday, hoping that he will reinstate the policy.

The mayor of Nuevo Laredo said he will coordinate with local and federal authorities to discuss the new immigration issue.