Biden already faces criticism for allowing tens of thousands of largely economic migrants, mostly from Central America, to cross illicitly from Mexico. Another wave directly from Haiti and/or Cuba landing on Florida’s shore would present the administration with a supplemental headache.
Biden gets generally favorable reviews for his handling of the US economy and the Covid-19 pandemic, but not for border control. Polls show anywhere from 55% to 60% disapproval of his handling of the migrant influx. In February, about 97,000 migrants crossed illegally; by May, the monthly number had risen to about 180,000.
Since the late 1970s, policies of American presidents toward Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, and Cuba, suffering the persistent stagnation of a decayed Communist revolution, have centered on avoiding an uncontrolled refugee influx.
The nightmare political prototype arose late in the single-term presidency of Jimmy Carter. In 1979, 10,000 Cubans stormed the Peruvian Embassy in Havana with hopes of obtaining political asylum. Carter off-handedly remarked, “We’ll continue to offer an open heart and open arms to refugees seeking freedom from Communist domination.”