“Cuban Entrants” Remain Eligible for ORR Benefits and Services

Policy Letter 17-01

Publication Date: February 8, 2017

Date: January 25, 2017

This Policy Letter clarifies that Cuban Entrants remain eligible for ORR refugee resettlement benefits and services, despite several changes to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies affecting Cuban nationals.

DHS Policy Changes Affecting Cubans

On January 12, 2017, DHS announced termination of the policy, often referred to as “wet-foot/dry-foot,” which allowed Cubans who had reached U.S. soil to be paroled into the United States and to apply for lawful permanent resident status.  DHS also rescinded the Cuban Medical Professional Program and eliminated an exemption that previously prevented the use of expedited removal proceedings for certain Cubans.

For more details about the DHS policy changes and the reasons they were made, please see the announcement Visit disclaimer page on the DHS website.

Eligibility for ORR Benefits and Services

Cuban Entrants continue to be eligible for ORR benefits and services.  ORR grantees and service providers should continue to furnish ORR resettlement benefits and services to Cubans who meet the definition of Cuban Entrant and can provide the required documentation.

For more information about the definition of Cuban Entrant and the required immigration documentation, please see Policy Letter 16-01.

If you have questions about this Policy Letter, please contact Thomas Pabst at (202) 401-5398 or Thomas.Pabst@acf.hhs.gov.

Kenneth Tota, Acting Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement

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