THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
The United States of America and the Republic of Cuba have reached agreement on steps to normalize further their migration relationship. These steps build upon the September 9, 1994 agreement and seek to address safety and humanitarian concerns and to ensure that migration between the countries is safe, legal, and orderly.
The United States and the Republic of Cuba recognize the special circumstances of Cuban migrants currently at Guantanamo Bay. Accordingly, the two governments have agreed that the process of humanitarian parole into the United States should continue beyond those eligible for parole under existing criteria. The two governments agree that if the United States carries out such paroles, it may count them towards meeting the minimum number of Cubans it is committed to admit every year pursuant to the September 9, 1994 agreement. Up to 5,000 such paroles may be counted towards meeting the minimum number in any one year period beginning September 9, 1995, regardless of when the migrants are paroled into the United States.
Safety of Life at Sea
The United States and the Republic of Cuba reaffirm their common interest in preventing unsafe departures from Cuba. Effective immediately, Cuban migrants intercepted at sea by the United States and attempting to enter the United States will be taken to Cuba. Similarly, migrants found to have entered Guantanamo illegally will also be returned to Cuba. The United States and the Republic of Cuba will cooperate jointly in this effort. All actions taken will be consistent with the parties' international obligations. Migrants taken to Cuba will be informed by United States officials about procedures to apply for legal admission to the United States at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
The United States and the Republic of Cuba will ensure that no action is taken against those migrants returned to Cuba as a consequence of their attempt to immigrate illegally. Both parties will work together to facilitate the procedures necessary to implement these measures. The United States and the Republic of Cuba agree to the return to Cuba of Cuban nationals currently at Guantanamo who are ineligible for admission to the United States.
September 9, 1994 Agreement
The United States and the Republic of Cuba agree that the provisions of the September 9, 1994 agreement remain in effect, except as modified by the present Joint Statement. In particular, both sides reaffirm their joint commitment to take steps to prevent unsafe departures from Cuba which risk loss of human life and to oppose acts of violence associated with illegal immigration.
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