New ties with Cuba won’t change immigration rules

Johnson says policy change won't impact immigration rules for now

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the impact of President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says the Obama administration’s decision to renew diplomatic ties with Cuba won’t impact immigration rules just yet.

President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. would normalize relations with the island’s Communist government and open a U.S. embassy sometime next year.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Thursday, Johnson says policy change won’t impact immigration rules for now. He added that Cubans should not to try to come to the U.S. illegally.

Under current law Cubans who make it to U.S. soil, by sea or land, are generally allowed to permanently stay in the country under the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” policy. Most other immigrants face deportation if caught trying to sneak into the country.

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