Hypothetical question about assisting Cuban immigrants to the US.
February 7, 2005 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Under the US's 'wet foot, dry foot' policy, Cubans who reach U.S. soil are allowed to stay while those caught at sea are sent home.

Hypothetically (and I mean that), Let's say an American were to: take a boat out between the US and Cuba, drive around looking for refugees, pick them up, brings them back to Florida, and there ends his involvement.

Is the American guilty of a crime? Does it make a difference if the authorities find out after the fact instead of catching him out on the open sea?

This may tread on IllegalFilter, so I emphasize that I'm absolutely not planning on doing this, I'm just curious to know why people SHOULDN'T do this.

(also, on re-read, I hate when I switch tenses in mid-sentence.)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher to Law & Government (4 answers total)
Based on my years of experience working at the INS unfortunate habit of watching "CSI: Miami," I believe aiding the refugees to shore is illegal.
posted by Skot at 10:18 AM on February 7, 2005

Best answer: Let's look at this another way: you take a pick up truck and go to Mexico and pick up a bunch of Mexicans, hide them in your pick up truck and then bring them across the border. This is highly illegal and the fact that there are 'international waters' between the U.S. and Cuba would, I assume, make no difference in the equation.

Essentially you are bringing illegals onto U.S. soil. It makes no difference that there is neutral ground in between or that there is an exception for illegals who actually make it to land. Your situation would be different from the actual Cubans, as you have committed a crime, but if they make it to land, they are offered immunity. The fact that they get immunity I would assume would have no bearing on your condition.
posted by spicynuts at 10:38 AM on February 7, 2005

Can they really make any distinction between people going out to pick up Cubans at sea and people who claim that the Cubans were in danger of death and picked them up for humanitarian reasons?
posted by biffa at 11:24 AM on February 7, 2005

Response by poster: Well, in my head the drop off included, say, fifty bucks and directions to the appropriate "we made it, we're Americans now" authorities, if that makes any diff.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:30 PM on February 7, 2005

« Older On dating sites, should my profile be long or...   |   What does 'month to month' entail? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.