The United States and Cuba held biannual Migration Talks on November 30 at the US Department of State.
According to the US State Department, the delegations discussed continuing implementation of the US-Cuba Migration Accords, which provide for the safe, orderly, and legal migration of Cubans to the United States. The groups also discussed recent trends in migration, such as the entry of Cuban migrants into the United States and human smuggling. The US delegation expressed its concern for the safety of the thousands of Cuban migrants transiting through Central America. The US and Cuban delegations agreed to expert-level meetings on how both governments will contribute to combating the smuggling organizations that take advantage of Cuban migrants.
“The meeting provided an opportunity to review progress on shared priorities and to identify mechanisms to continue narrowing our differences. As with any bilateral relationship, there were some areas of disagreement, but it took place in a respectful, cooperative, and productive environment,” the US State Department said.
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Alex Lee led the discussions for the US, and Director General Josefina Vidal of the US Division of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the Cuban delegation.
The last Migration Talks were held in Havana in January 2015, with the July session was postponed due to the ceremonies marking the re-opening of the U.S. and Cuban embassies in July and August.
The US State Department added that, “The United States is committed to supporting safe, orderly, and legal migration from Cuba through the effective implementation of the 1994-95 U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords.”
The Administration has no plans to alter current migration policy regarding Cuba, the US State Department said.