In a move that shocked many on the pro immigration left, President Obama eliminated the US policy regarding Cuban immigrants known as “Wet Foot, Dry Foot”. For those that do not know the policy, it was designed to allow Cuban immigrants the ability to stay, legally, in the US provided they actually made it to US soil on there own. Long considered a triumph of liberal immigration policy, one has to wonder why President Obama, a pro immigration politician, ended this policy in what may be the last foreign policy decision of his presidency. But Why?
Obama is Beholden to His Communist Leaders
One theory for why Obama would end Wet Foot, Dry Foot is that because he is just following orders from his communist leaders. Cuba has long been against the policy claiming that it was an incentive for people to flee Cuba. Even though liberals have long claimed that open immigration policies do not create an incentive for people to immigrate, Obama clearly bored to pressures from the communist government of Cuba to rescind the policy.
Could it be that the ending of the Wet Foot, Dry Foot policy is something that was negotiated into part of the normalization of relations with Cuba, but Obama was hoping he could postpone implementation of it until after Clinton took over as president. Since Hillary did not get elected, Obama was forced to push this through himself, or risk losing yet another one of his “proud achievements”.
Obama is Vindictive against Cubans
Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, I saw many left leaning news articles that claimed that Hillary Clinton was going to win Florida because of the large Spanish speaking population. I pointed out that this is a great example of the racism rampant in the elitist Democrat party. Living in Florida myself, and knowing many Cuban immigrants (most of whom lost everything to the Cuban government), I correctly pointed out that the Cuban population in Florida was not only resentful of Obama’s normalization of relations between the US and Cuba, but that many of them were fearful that a Clinton presidency would mean the repeal of the Wet Foot, Dry Foot policy.
As we all saw, Clinton did not win Florida, and that happened in large part because the Democrats did not receive the support they expected from the “Spanish Speakers”. So is Obama’s repeal of the Wet Foot, Dry Foot policy simply a bit of revenge against the Cuban community for not falling in line and supporting Clinton like the Democrats thought they would?
Is This a Childish Attack on Trump?
Whatever the reasons are that Obama decided to end the Wet Foot, Dry Foot policy regarding Cuban immigrants, one thing is clear: the repercussions of this action are something President Trump will have to deal with. Since this policy change happened after the election, many people will place the blame for the policy on Trump. Since the Wet Foot, Dry Foot policy was originally started under the Bill Clinton Presidency, many Republican legislators will fight any attempt to reinstate the policy, and therefore it is a fight Trump will likely decide to avoid. Therefore, many people will see the new policy being implemented while Trump is president, and assume that it is an anti immigrant Republican policy. That seems to be screwed leveraging on Obama’s part…
Whatever the true cause of Obama’s abandonment of his principles on immigration may be, we might never know. However, this betrayal of ideology will long go to remind people that no matter how much politicians like Obama like to pretend they have the moral high ground, their ideology is quickly cast aside whenever it suits them.