United States and Cuba Hold Migration Talks

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 1, 2015

The United States and Cuba held biannual Migration Talks on November 30 at the U.S. Department of State.  Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Alex Lee led the discussions for the United States; Director General Josefina Vidal of the U.S. Division of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the Cuban delegation. 

The delegations discussed continuing implementation of the U.S.-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 U.S. delegation expressed its concern for the safety of the thousands of Cuban migrants transiting through Central America. The U.S. and Cuban delegations agreed to expert-level meetings on how both governments will contribute to combatting 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 last Migration Talks were held in Havana in January 2015; 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 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.

For further information, please contact WHA Press at WHAPress@State.Gov.