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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Thousands of Cubans stranded in Central America may have a home in Miami-Dade soon.
According to our news partners at The Miami Herald, the now 8,000 Cubans were told that they or their families abroad have an option other than their attempt to trek through Central America.
They can buy a San Jose to Mexico City plane ticket then take a bus to the U.S. border where they will be allowed into the states.
That’s where Miami comes in. Considered the capital of Cuban exiles, they seem to have no choice but be ready for resettlement.
The mayor of Miami told the paper he is concerned the city’s not prepared, but at the county level it’s a different story.
A top county official said they are prepped and ready to receive the stranded Cubans who end up in the sunshine state.
“There is a federal plan, a state plan, and a local plan. Local is a humanitarian plan,” Curtis Sommerhoff, the county’s director of Emergency Management told the paper.
The plan was put in place following the 1994 balsero crisis, to handle immigration that would come out of a Cuba regime change.
The mass migration comes as many Cuban migrants fear renewed relations between Cuba and the United States could bring an end to the Wet Foot Dry Foot Policy. This allows Cubans to apply for residency if they reach the U.S. by land.
Within the last fiscal year, 41,000 Cubans made it to the states by crossing the Mexican border or braving the waters in homemade boats headed to Florida.
So many arrived at one point so many arrived that refugee resettlement agencies were maxed out – leaving some Cubans homeless in Miami and Doral. It was resolved when Cuban-American Samaritans appeared with better options.
Click here to read more about U.S.- Cuba Relations.