Father Deported to Cuba Reunites with Family in the U.S. After Long Struggle

Thursday, May 23, 2024 by Daniel Colon

Yoan Enríquez, a Cuban national deported from the U.S. to the island in November 2023, leaving behind his wife and three-month-old baby, has finally reunited with his family in Tampa.

Enríquez did not give up. He left Cuba again, embarked on another arduous journey, and waited in Mexico for two months for a CBP One appointment. Once in Mexican territory, he scheduled a meeting with U.S. immigration authorities. There, he presented evidence of his life as a deportee in Cuba and explained why returning to the island would put him in danger.

Finally, he was admitted to the U.S. with a parole status, which after a year and a day will allow him to apply for the Cuban Adjustment Act and obtain residency, according to his attorney, Miguel Inda Romero, as detailed to Telemundo 51.

"The first day she looked at me as if thinking: I know him, but I've never seen him in person," Yoan described to the media outlet, recounting the emotional reunion with his now nine-month-old daughter.

"It was truly hard. To see yourself back in the same place you fled from, where you felt bad, where you felt imprisoned," he said about his return to Cuba.

After months of anguish and separation, this touching reunion marks the beginning of a new chapter in his life.

Yoan's Journey to the United States

In 2020, Yoan illegally crossed the southern border of the United States. He spent several months in a migrant center until he was released with a deportation order, known as the I220B document, because he had missed his credible fear interview.

"Since I don't know English, they told me: sign here, this is what you said in the credible fear interview, and I signed. However, in those supposed declarations on paper, there are things I never mentioned. I know several people in similar situations," Enríquez explained.

Every year, he had to report to immigration authorities while continuing his life in the United States. However, in November 2023, following the resumption of deportation flights between the Cuban regime and the Biden administration, he was summoned, taken to a detention center, handcuffed, and put on a plane back to Cuba.

"It seemed incredible that we were going through that," recalls his wife, Melissa Vera.

"I have very few memories of crying as much as I did that day," Yoan Enríquez noted, adding that he will not feel safe until he obtains residency.

Yoan Enríquez reunited with his wife and family on May 12, Mother's Day.

"It truly was the best gift for my wife, for the baby, and for my mom. Now, to start anew, because I have many goals in this country that has given me a second chance," he concluded.

Key Questions About Yoan Enríquez's Journey and U.S. Immigration Policies

Here we address some of the most relevant questions regarding Yoan Enríquez's case and the broader context of U.S. immigration policies.

What is the Cuban Adjustment Act?

The Cuban Adjustment Act allows Cuban nationals who have been admitted or paroled into the United States to apply for permanent residency after one year and one day.

What challenges do deported individuals face when trying to return to the U.S.?

Deported individuals often face significant challenges, including legal hurdles, long wait times, and the need to provide compelling evidence that returning to their home country would endanger their lives.

How did Yoan Enríquez manage to reunite with his family in the U.S.?

Yoan Enríquez left Cuba, waited in Mexico for a CBP One appointment, and provided evidence to U.S. immigration authorities about the dangers he faced in Cuba, eventually gaining parole status.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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