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US reopens immigration office in Cuba

Cubans stage rare protests demanding electricity, food
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The United States announced the reopening of its immigration office in Cuba Thursday, saying it would aid in processing applications for family members of Cubans already in the US.

The Havana office of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services will conduct interviews, collect biometric data and process cases of applicants seeking to move to the United States, according to a statement from the department of Homeland Security.

“This administration is taking steps to reduce unlawful entries, deny resources to ruthless smuggling organizations, and streamline access to lawful, safe, and orderly pathways for those seeking humanitarian relief,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Cubans like my own family, who nearly 63 years ago fled the communist takeover, deserve the same opportunity to follow legal pathways to build a new life in the United States,” he said.

The Havana office was closed in December 2018 under a US policy shift toward Cuba and also in response to fears of “Havana Syndrome,” a mysterious and still unresolved set of symptoms experienced by US diplomats that were believed to result from some sort of microwave or other electronic attack.

As thousands of Cubans sought in the past two years to travel through Mexico in hopes of entering across the southern US border, last year DHS created a regularized program for migrants, including those seeking asylum.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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