West New York Mayor Dr. Felix Roque traveled to Costa Rica at the end of December to assist thousands of Cuban migrants in Central America.
That’s how West New York Mayor Dr. Felix Roque describes his trip to Costa Rica at the end of December to assist thousands of Cuban migrants in Central America.
The migrants Roque assisted were attempting to make their way to the United States to get permanent residency under a law known as the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. The act states that if a Cuban sets foot on American soil the person is eligible for permanent residency one year and one day later. Traveling by boat to Florida doesn’t qualify and anyone caught still has to return to Cuba.
When President Barack Obama announced the beginning of the normalization of relations between Cuba and the U.S. in 2014, many Cubans feared their special status would end. The concerns led thousands to make the journey by land, but the governments in Central America weren’t prepared for the large onslaught.
Roque is shelling out over $200,000 of his own money to help. His efforts include a second trip to Honduras.
The Cuban’ born mayor says he assisted between 130 and 150 Cubans to get to the United States.
Roque says his work isn’t over.
The West New York mayor and pain management doctor hasn’t ruled out one day serving as a political official in Cuba