Local veterans protest Cuban refugees

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LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - It's been almost a week since Cuban refugees started crossing into the U.S. here in Laredo, but on Tuesday, a local group is voicing their concerns over the issue.

Veterans came together Tuesday morning to protest the refugees at the Laredo port of entry.

On Tuesday morning a crowd of veterans gathered by bridge number one, where it is known for Cubans to hang around at, to express their concerns about benefits the refugees are receiving.

Angel Yoandre drove from Miami to Laredo to pick up family members who traveled from Cuba to the Laredo port of entry.
At the international bridge number one Yoandre was greeted by local veterans protesting the arrivals of Cuban refugees.

"We don't feel welcomed honestly we just come to work and to thrive for our family", said Yoandre.

Tuesday was the first of many protest the veterans say they will have –to express their disagreement with the recent surge of Cubans arriving to the united states.

"We don't know if ISIS or Al Qaeda has infiltrated Cuba and now they're sending their terrorism and we are opening the door for them", said local veteran Gabriel Lopez.

Something Yoandre believes is a strong accusation towards Cubans

"You have never heard of Cuban terrorize. Terrorism does not exist in Cuba its unheard of, in Cuba there is no terrorism", said Yoandre.

The veterans claim Cubans are being let in to the country too easily and are being granted more benefits than veterans.

"They get Medicaid they get food stamps housing when we have veterans that only have the VA health care", said Lopez

Something congressman Henry Cuellar agrees with.

"These people are getting immediate benefits. They apply for immediate benefits when some veterans in some places of the country have been waiting for certain benefits", said Cuellar.

Cuellar says the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, allows Cubans to apply for federal benefits once they come into the United States.

"Any other immigrants don't get that. In one year they become legal residents know no other immigrant group gets that", said Cuellar.

Something Cuellar says he is aiming to change in congress.

"We have a change the long take those benefits away and certainly make sure that we don't treat those folks better that we are treating our veterans", said Cuellar.

But for now local veterans say they will continue to push too see change for veterans.

"It's what happens, it's freedom of speech", said Yoandre.

Cuellar says he is co sponsoring a bill that would change the benefits Cuban refugees receive once in the country, but says he fears the lack of change congress has done for immigration could delay that.

We reached out to the U.S. Homeland Security to ask about the exact process Cubans refugees go through before being let into the country, they have not answered our request.

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