Obama ending "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" policy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Obama ending "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" policy

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(NBC) -

President Barack Obama is ending the U.S. policy known as "Wet Foot, Dry Foot", which granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the United States without visas.

The policy was put in place more than 20-years ago and, according to a senior administrator official, the change is effective immediately. 

In a statement released by the White House president Obama says, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the U.S. illegally will now be subject to removal. 

The president says in this way, the U.S. will be treating Cuban migrants the same as migrants from other countries. 

Obama believes this brings greater consistency to immigration policy, and is a step forward to normalizing relations with Cuba. 

An official says the U.S. and Cuba has spent several months negotiating the change, including an agreements from Cuba to allow those turned away from the U.S. to return.

This move is likely the last major change President Obama will make to his overhaul of the U.S./Cuba relationship. 

Thousands of Cubans attempt the journey to the U.S. each year 

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