News and Facts about Cuba

Cuba-Mexico Agree on Return of ‘Illegal’ Migrants

Cuba-Mexico Agree on Return of ‘’ Migrants / 14ymedio

14ymedio, 4 May 2016 — The memorandum of understanding between the
governments of Cuba and Mexico that governs migration between the two
countries is now in force. The agreement allows, starting now, automatic
deportations from Mexico to Cuba to “strengthen cooperation between the
two countries in the fight against illegal migration, human trafficking
and smuggling.” Signed on 6 November of last year, the agreement went
into effect on 1 May, as confirmed in a statement from Cuba’s Ministry
of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

Starting now, Cuba agrees to accept the return of citizens who enter
Mexican territory illegally, or who are in Mexico “irregularly” after
emigrating illegally to countries in Central America, or “who are
temporarily abroad within legal terms established by its immigration
regulations and have an ‘irregular immigration status’ in the Mexican
territory, except those authorized to to the United States of

Returns will be made by air, or as an exception where appropriate by
sea, and the cost will be borne by the sending country. Irregular
migrants who are intercepted should be reported to their countries of
origin, which must respond within 15 days to initiate the return. This
will take effect a maximum of 15 days after receiving a response.

Since 2008, Mexican immigration legislation provides for deportations
involving the interception of boats, the capture of traffickers and the
“realization of operations to return the nationals of both parties by sea.”

In practice, however, the Mexican government is awarding legal status to
a good part of the irregular Cuban migrants detained in their territory,
sheltering them under the “law of refugees and complementary
protection,” approved in 2012, and guaranteeing the undocumented the
chance to not be returned to “the territory of another country where
their life was threatened or they were in danger of being subjected to
torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment,” even if they
were not recognized as refugees.

In the last migration crisis, Mexico participated actively in the
agreement with Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador, receiving more than
6,000 Cubans who were offered provisional documents on humanitarian
grounds to stay in the country for 20 days and continue on their way to
the United States. Despite the agreement that has just come into force,
solutions like this could continue to happen under Article 19, which
provides for the suspension of the agreement “for reasons of protection
of public order or state security, as well as for reasons or
force majeure,” that is circumstances beyond the control of either party.

The memorandum also states that citizens of any country who are not
covered in the agreement of 1994 for the abolition of the visa
requirement, must obtain the relevant documentation and both Cuba and
Mexico agree to exchange available information.

Relations between Cuba and Mexico have strengthened in recent months,
particularly since the visit of to the that country in
November 2015. One result of the trip is the Binational Chamber of
Commerce, presented this Monday, which involves several collaborative
programs (academic-diplomatic, and ) and a letter of intent
for technical collaboration in basic .

Source: Cuba-Mexico Agree on Return of ‘Illegal’ Migrants / 14ymedio –
Translating Cuba –

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