2 Cuban nationals deported to Havana, first since end of 'wet foot, dry foot'

Posted at 3:45 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-27 11:27:26-04

Two Cuban nationals were flown back to Havana by U.S. Immigration and Customs officials Friday in what is the first removal flight since the change in the United States' "wet foot, dry foot" policy, NBC 6 has learned.

ICE officials confirmed to NBC 6 that the Cuban nationals - two women - were deported to the Communist island Friday morning. Their identities were unknown.
NBC 6 cameras were at Miami International Airport where the women were put onto a private plane that took off for Jose Marti International Airport just before 9 a.m. The plane returned to MIA just after 12 p.m.

The Obama administration announced the end of the so-called 'wet foot, dry foot' policy that grants Cubans residency upon arrival to the United States last month just days before President Donald Trump took office.
Sources said the women arrived in the U.S. from Cuba on European Union passports on either the day the policy was lifted or the day after. After landing at MIA the women asked for asylum but were denied and were detained, sources said.

Their attorney asked for them to be released so they could return to Cuba but the U.S. government denied the request and said they would be deported, sources said.
President Trump has not established what, if anything, will change regarding Cuba policy. Press secretary Sean Spicer told NBC 6's Jackie Nespral earlier this month that the administration is reviewing its position with Havana.

Story from our news partner NBCMiami