The same week President Obama makes the first trip to Cuba by an American president in almost 90 years, The Rolling Stones will play a free concert in Havana — the first open-air show there by a British rock band. But changing times in the Communist country haven’t stopped tens of thousands from fleeing the island and saying gimme shelter to American immigration officials at Texas land ports.
From October 2015 to February 2016, more than 18,500 Cubans arrived at Texas’ Laredo field office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes ports from Del Rio to Brownsville. If that trend continues, it will shatter last year’s numbers for the same ports, when a record 28,371 crossed. During the 2015 fiscal year, more than 43,150 arrived at the 20 CBP field offices in the United States that process immigrants. More than half — 25,800 — arrived in only the first five months of the current fiscal year. The president’s visit to Cuba Monday was the latest step in his mission. READ MORE