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Elise Stefanik: Biden administration handling of Cubans seeking freedom a 'failure'

"We welcome the Cuban people, and we are going to stand strongly against the Cuban regime,” said the House Republican Conference chair.

Updated: July 29, 2021 - 11:25pm

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik told Just the News that the Biden Administration warning Cubans escaping the communist regime by sea will be turned away from the U.S. is a policy failure. 

"I disagree with that policy,” Stefanik said after speaking at a rally for freedom in Cuba on Capitol Hill. "We welcome the Cuban people, and we are going to stand strongly against the Cuban regime. That is a clear difference between House Republicans and House Democrats, and it's a failure of the Biden administration."

Florida Republican Rep. Maria Salazar reacted to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas vowing to turn away Cubans who arrive in the U.S. by sea, saying he’s "forgotten his roots."

"I understand that people need to come into this country, we need to come in an orderly fashion, that people should not be crossing the [southern] border just like that," Salazar said. "But at the same time, you have the Cubans who are asking for real political asylum, and Mayorkas — I haven't met him, and we come from the same background, he understands the same thing I understand, so maybe he's gotten confused.

"It's so evident that this country was based on the foundation of freedom, and everyone that’s coming in wants to enjoy that, but Cuba is the only communist regime ... in the hemisphere. Venezuela still is, and we're giving some redress to the Venezuelans, but the Cubans, we understand what's happening in Cuba. So I do not understand what's happening to Mayorkas." 

Republican lawmakers have criticized President Biden for allowing 50,000 illegal immigrants stopped at the southern border to be released into U.S. communities without court dates. Instead, thousands of migrants are being asked to voluntarily report to ICE, and only 13% of the 50,000 have reportedly done so to date. 

Salazar was asked what she thinks are the consequences of undocumented immigrants being released into local U.S. communities after being processed at the border.

"That's completely unacceptable, and that's why I'm presenting a new immigration reform bill called the Dignity Act," she replied. "So I want to help my party and the country fix immigration problems. And that's coming out in September. So I am planning to give the country, not only the Republican Party, a solution for immigration. It's simple. It's just political willingness."

Salazar has outlined some of the contents of her forthcoming immigration reform bill, including additional border security measures along with deportation protection for DREAMERs, who are undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Thursday the Biden administration has caused a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"We have borders that are open, numbers that we've never seen before," he said. "People coming across with COVID and being shipped by your taxpayers money throughout this nation, and a government telling vaccinated Americans to wear a mask."

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