Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, and Curbelo Succeed in Helping Cuban Doctors Resolve Pending Cases

Sep 1, 2015
Press Release

MIAMI – Today, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) commented on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) decision to prioritize the pending cases of Cuban medical professionals who escaped conscripted service in Venezuela and applied for relief under the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP) Program in Colombia. Combined, the offices of Representatives Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, and Curbelo have had at least 20 cases resolved since their letters were sent to the Administration asking for an expeditious resolution to the dozens of pending cases.

"USCIS has favorably responded to our urgent requests to expeditiously and fairly review the cases of Cuban medical professionals who fled to Colombia. The CMPP Program, instituted during the Bush Administration, is essential to helping physicians in inhumane working conditions escape forced labor abroad. I will continue to work diligently with my colleagues to ensure that Cuban medical professionals forced to work abroad have the opportunity to escape their abysmal work conditions. The Castro regime contracts with foreign countries to sell the work of Cuban medical professionals, often separates the professionals from their families, and keeps as much as 70 percent of their salaries. This is not charity; it is forced labor that earns the Castro regime a hefty profit at the expense of Cuban workers,” said Diaz-Balart.

"I'm so very pleased that Cuban medical professionals in Colombia are finally getting their cases reviewed because they have been living under poor conditions and every day, their situation becomes a bigger heartache. My colleagues and I see the human toll that Castro's evil regime takes on freedom seeking folks. Our U.S. embassies must do their part to help process all legitimate petitions in a timely manner because that is what this special program is designed to do," said Ros-Lehtinen.

“Since concerns were raised over delays in resolving the cases of Cuban doctors in Colombia, the State Department has taken the issue more seriously.  While I’m still disappointed by the unnecessary delays the doctors experienced in receiving a response, I am pleased that we now seem to be on a pathway to resolve their cases,” said Curbelo.