Number of Cubans coming to U.S. up significantly in recent years

Immigrants to the U.S. come from all over the world. Now, the pace of immigration to the U.S. from different countries can change quite a bit over time. One country that the U.S. has seen a particularly high number of immigrants from in recent years is Cuba.

The number of individuals from Cuba entering the U.S. has gone up year-to-year for several fiscal years now, with the pace of the increase having been particularly high since fiscal year 2014.

A comparison of the numbers from fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2016 underscore how big the increase in individuals from Cuba immigrating to the U.S. has been. The annual total for number of individuals from Cuba entering the U.S. for fiscal year 2011 was 7,759. In comparison, in just its first 10 months, fiscal year 2016 already saw 46,635 Cubans enter the United States.

What has been contributing to this increase? Well, a couple big events happened in recent years that may be playing a significant role. One is that Cuba loosened travel restrictions on its nationals. Another is that the U.S. announced that it was reopening diplomatic ties with Cuba in 2014, indicating a softening of the long-tense relations between the two countries. Policies within certain countries and changes in U.S. diplomatic stances are among the many things that can have big impacts on levels of immigration to the U.S. from different counties.

The pace of the increase has started to slow in recent months, raising some questions as to whether the increase might be nearing its end. It is important to note though that lots of different factors, including what sorts of things happen with U.S.-Cuba relations, could play a role in what happens with immigration levels moving forward.

What country a person is coming to the U.S. from can matter significantly when it comes to what immigration issues are present for them. For one, some country’s nationals have special rules and options present for them when it comes to U.S. immigration law. Individuals from Cuba are among such immigrants. For example, under federal laws, Cuban individuals have some special options regarding permanent residency eligibility in America. Immigration lawyers can help individuals from Cuba seeking to live in the U.S. with the immigration issues unique to them.

Source: Pew Research Center, “Surge in Cuban immigration to U.S. continues into 2016,” Jens Manuel Krogstad, Aug. 5, 2016