Diaspora

North Texas family housing six Cuban relatives says drastic changes need to be made with immigration – WFAA.com

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DALLAS — With each new policy, piece of legislation and political chess move surrounding immigration into the U.S., one North Texas family knows all too well that there are many lives hanging in the balance. 
“Immigration to me as a totally different name. To me, it has the name of my family and it has the name of their needs,” one woman said. She asked for her identity to be protected for her safety and the safety of her loved ones. 
She and her husband started housing her distant relatives from Cuba last August.
“We were empty nesters,” she said. “Now, I’ve got five adults and a toddler living in my home.”
She said each of her family members traveled from Cuba, through Nicaragua, paying $10,000 per person to use a coyote system to reach the border.
“They’re moved in hoards. They’re kept in places that have no roof or food for 20 to 25 days, hiding from authorities in all these different countries,” she said. 
The family members staying with her crossed the border illegally and were detained by border patrol. They were each able to obtain parole to enter the country, so they are here legally now but aren’t able to work. 
“They allow them in, but they won’t let them work so we’re looking at a year and a day at least before they can apply. There’s such a backlog and so many don’t have support,” she said. 
On Thursday, the Biden administration announced it is tightening immigration restrictions while also allowing for tens of thousands of immigrants coming from countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela to legally enter the country each month, if they apply for asylum from their nations. 
“I hope the government finds a faster way to these people through,” she said. “We don’t know, after Biden’s ruling today, what’s going to happen to the people who were already here.”
She said she is politically conservative and firmly believes that people should enter the country legally, but she does hope for more grace and real solutions the nation’s immigration crisis. 
“My parents came here legally, but there has to be some recourse for people in communist countries. These people are oppressed in a way no one else is. There’s no freedom of speech,” she said.
She plans to continue to support her loved ones until they are able to get on their feet, but she can’t help but to think of those who come with nowhere to go. 
“On one hand, I’m grateful that my family made it over and they were released in the United States but on the other hand, If they weren’t staying with me I don’t know what would happen to them,” she said.
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