Mexico returns 91 Cubans who had hoped to reach US

January 20, 2017 GMT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico has returned to Cuba the first contingent of Cuban migrants since former U.S. president Barack Obama decided Thursday to end a U.S. policy of granting residency to Cubans who arrive on U.S. soil.

Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said Friday it put 91 Cubans on a federal police airplane and flew them back to the island after the Cuban government accepted their return.

Mexico had long technically been able to deport Cubans, but the Cuban government usually refused to accept them.

The Mexican government had been granting Cubans 20-day transit visas to make it to the U.S. border.

All 20 Cuban women and 71 men had arrived at Mexico’s southern border seeking such transit documents.

But Mexico will apparently no longer automatically issue them, now the policy has changed.