Cuban activist receives another blow at attempt to become US resident

Ramon Saul Sanchez first applied for residency 17 years ago

By Hatzel Vela - Cuba Correspondent

MIAMI - Renowned Cuban activist Ramon Saul Sanchez received another blow Friday to his attempt at becoming a U.S. resident, as U.S. immigration officials once again denied his request. 

"This is very sad for me," Sanchez said. 

But Sanchez remains hopeful, despite this being the last recourse before having to go before a judge. 

He first applied for residency 17 years ago and has been denied three times since. 

Part of the reason, it seems, is his political involvement in the community when it comes to Cuba.

"They name the hunger strikes, they name the demonstrations, they name the flotillas as confrontations with the United States," Sanchez said. 

Sanchez said he was simply exercising his First Amendment rights. 

"What we're seeking now is to go before an immigration judge and be able to have live evidence from community leaders, religious leaders," immigration attorney Willy Allen said. 

Allen said these are all people who can testify to Sanchez's moral character.

"I think our biggest hurdle is the wait to go before a judge, but that also gives us plenty of time to be prepared and to present the strongest possible case," Allen said. 

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