Publisher note: Shame again on the Miami Herald and the authors of this story. Send them an email and tell them what you think. The authors intentionally mislead their readers with the words “Cuban militant”.
Title of story: Cuban militant to seek U.S. asylum
A veteran Cuban militant believed to be in South Florida is expected to file for asylum and parole next week.
BY ELAINE DE VALLE AND ALFONSO CHARDY
Luis Posada Carriles, the elusive Cuban exile militant who secretly slipped into South Florida last month, will file applications for asylum and parole in Miami by early next week, his immigration lawyer said Tuesday.
Attorney Eduardo Soto said Posada will not show up in person until he is required to come forward for asylum interviews. Soto said a news conference was being considered to coincide with the filings, possibly on Tuesday.
‘‘There will be news next week,’’ said Santiago Alvarez, a Miami developer who is a close friend and financial backer of Posada.
It was unclear whether Posada himself would appear at the news conference, but Soto said his client likely would not file the applications himself.
‘‘We can do those by mail,’’ Soto said.
Soto’s statement was the strongest indication to date that Posada sneaked into the country several days ago, either across the Mexican border or by sea without being detected by Department of Homeland Security officials.
Soto would not comment on whether he had seen his client.
Federal sources have said Posada, 77, has been on an immigration watch list alerting air, sea and land border inspectors about his controversial background.
LINKED TO BOMBINGS
Posada has been accused of blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976 and trying to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2000. He also has been linked to a string of bombings against several Havana hotels and restaurants in 1997.
The purpose of the watch list alert was to make sure that U.S. immigration inspectors would stop Posada if he tried to enter the country through a designated port of entry.
If Posada’s applications for either asylum or parole are granted, he would be entitled to apply for a green card, which allows him to work legally, live permanently in the United States and apply for citizenship.
As a Cuban national, Posada could qualify for parole under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, which allows Cubans who reach land to stay and apply for residence after a year.
He can also apply for a green card after a year if his asylum application is approved.
If immigration authorities reject Posada’s applications for either asylum or parole, the case would be referred to an immigration court, where Posada again could resubmit his petitions.
Language in asylum and parole laws and regulations suggest that someone like Posada could be denied both petitions because of his alleged background—even if he does not face any charges in the United States.
An internal immigration service memo dating from the Clinton administration, which is still in effect, says that Cubans who arrive without first reporting to a regular port of entry can be paroled “in the absence of a disqualifying criminal record or other factors that would bar Cuban Adjustment Act adjustment.’‘
Nevertheless, the memo also suggests that given the ‘‘ongoing difficulty’’ in deporting Cubans to their homeland, immigration officers should lean toward granting parole to Cubans who seek it.
Applicants can also be barred from asylum if, according to language in the law, ‘‘there are serious reasons for believing’’ that the foreign national has committed a ‘‘serious nonpolitical crime’’ outside the United States prior to arrival in the United States.
WILL HE BE DETAINED?
Another issue is whether immigration authorities will detain Posada pending resolution of his applications. Soto said he had not talked to immigration authorities about their intentions, and immigration officials have not signaled their intentions.
Venezuela has indicated an interest in seeking Posada’s extradition. Posada, a naturalized Venezuelan, escaped from prison there in 1985 pending final resolution of the Cuban airliner case.
But in a recent case, an immigration judge prohibited the U.S. government from deporting two former Venezuelan military officers accused of bombings in their home country because ‘‘more likely than not’’ they would be tortured there.