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Cubans convicted of US crimes could face deportation

Published:Monday | March 14, 2016 | 9:56 AMAP
In this September 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama stands with Cuba President Raúl Castro before a bilateral meeting at the United Nations headquarters.


As Washington normalises relations with Havana, nearly 30,000 Cuban nationals convicted of crimes in the US may face deportation.

The Miami Herald reports that 28,400 Cuban nationals have served their prison terms and face automatic deportations. Some 18,000 live in Florida. For decades they've been released under supervision by immigration authorities because the US had no diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Authorities said there's no imminent change planned for immigration policy toward Cuba. Republican Miami Congressman Carlos Curbelo said dangerous criminals should be deported at the earliest date possible, while those convicted of minor offences should be given the opportunity to stay.

Miami defence attorney Jose 'Pepe' Herrera said many Cuban inmates didn't anticipate any US change toward Cuba when they signed waivers agreeing to deportations to avoid immigration detention proceedings.