Obama scrapping ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy for Cubans

The official said the U.S. and Cuba have spent several months negotiating the change

Cuban President Raul Castro, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama during a meeting in Revolution Palace, Monday, March 21, 2016. Brushing past profound differences, President Obama and President Castro sat down for a historic meeting, offering critical clues about whether Obama's sharp U-turn in policy will be fully reciprocated. Credit: (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Cuban President Raul Castro, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama during a meeting in Revolution Palace, Monday, March 21, 2016. Brushing past profound differences, President Obama and President Castro sat down for a historic meeting, offering critical clues about whether Obama's sharp U-turn in policy will be fully reciprocated. Credit: (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration is ending the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the United States without visas.

That’s according to a senior administration official, who said the policy change was effective immediately.

The official said the U.S. and Cuba have spent several months negotiating the change, including an agreement from Cuba to allow those turned away from the U.S. to return.

The move comes about a week before President Barack Obama leaves office and is likely the last major change he will make to his overhaul of the U.S. relationship with Cuba.

The official insisted on anonymity in order to detail the policy ahead of an official announcement.

For Cubans’ reaction to the policy change, watch the above video. 

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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