The Miami Herald has sided with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and shamed the Senate for its refusal to repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.
"Give Sen. Rubio an A for effort on this one," reads the editorial. "Give the Senate an F."
The Cuban Adjustment Act was enacted under President Lyndon Johnson and created what essentially became a separate immigration policy for Cuban migrants coming to the country.
Cuban immigrants can adjust their immigration status to permanent resident after just a year under the act.
The federal policy came under fire from Rubio, who urged the Senate to repeal the act. Rubio's own family came over to the U.S. from Cuba in the late 1950s before Fidel Castro came into power. Rubio's parents applied for citizenship after naturalization in 1975.
The Miami Herald editorial acknowledges persecution in Cuba still exists but points to time and changing immigration policy as a consideration in keeping the policy around in 2016.
A report from the U.S. Department of State released last week found persecution still continues, with many Cubans still being arrested by political motivation. These prisoners are often denied fair trials and Cubans are still not allowed to choose their own political leaders. Some religious groups are still not allowed to congregate and worship in the country, which has been ruled by the Castro regime since 1959.
Rubio has spoken out on the Act, which he says has become heavily abused in recent years since Cubans are eligible for welfare benefits shortly after arriving in the country.
Another Florida Congressman, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., has also called for a repeal of the policy in the House of Representatives. Like Rubio, Curbelo is also the son of Cuban exiles who immigrated to Florida.
"As many of you know, I am the son of Cuban immigrants," the Miami Republican told Congress. "I live in a community where Cuban exiles have had an indelible imprint in our country, on the state of Florida and in South Florida in particular. And yet I stand here today to say that this provision of law, this distinction, is no longer justified."
The editorial also recognizes the path to leaving the Castro regime is often a complicated affair for Cubans, but said the policy is a "relic of the Cold War."
"These days, real dissidents are able to leave Cuba and make a case for political asylum in the United States without relying on the Cuban Adjustment Act," read the op-ed. "As long as the Castro regime is in power, U.S. immigration law must remain generous for genuine Cuban dissidents and political exiles."