A rising number of Cubans are fleeing for the United States as relations thaw between the two countries — not because they think it's easier, but because they're afraid that it will soon get a lot harder.
Rumors are spreading across the island that the special immigration status the United States has afforded to Cuban refugees for decades may soon come to an end, prompting a flood of migrants into Latin American countries like Ecuador and Costa Rica in a bid to get to the U.S. by land.
A major influx of Cuban immigrants is real, says Ted Henken, co-author of "Entrepreneurial Cuba: The Changing Policy Landscape." "If you look at the numbers, it's already happening. A record number of people are leaving Cuba — record by even Mariel Boatlift standards. It's ironic because those people worried about the end of the Cuban Adjustment Act and leaving in large numbers are going to make it more likely that the Cuban Adjustment Act ends."