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A Contemplative Look Into Cuban Migration To The United States

1872 words - 8 pages

A Contemplative look into Cuban Migration to the United States
"And we have to get separate because of the system, the new system ... I was so happy. I was born in a fishing town. The ocean was very close; I like to swim, play like every boy...Just the system changed, and everything changed you know, in my life, and the life of all my family and the many families in Cuba ..." (Edsall, Riviera & Cooper, 2009). Victor, a Cuban immigrant, explains what life was like for him before immigrating to Amercia in an interview done by Edsall, Riviera & Cooper to explore the concept of home and belonging for immigrants. Victor remembers what Cuba was like prior to Vidal Castro’s revolution. ...view middle of the document...

Fidel Castro announced his resignation as President on February 2008. Castro’s brother, Raúl Castro, become the President and continues the regime. There have been accusations of numerous human rights abuses in the Cuban government including torture, imprisonment, unfair trials, and extrajudicial executions. The Cubans people are denied basic human rights like: free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law.
Immigration from Cuba to the United States mostly occurs because of political reasons and can be broken into four distinct groups. Between 1959 -1962, the first wave of immigrants, or exiles, came to America. This was sparked when Fidel Castro began his reign over Cuba. During this time an estimated 250,000 Cuban immigrants arrived. The initial migration consisted of primarily of upper and upper middle class families wanting to begin a new life in the United States. The second group of 300,000+, middle and working class, Cuban immigrants took refuge in 1965 to 1974. These people were typically helped into the US through departure programs “freedom flights” administered by the U.S and Cuban governments. After 1980 the Mariel, Marielitos, boatlift began, which is the act of floating to Florida aboard makeshift vessels. The departure was chaotic and different from the other departures because it encompassed virtually every segment of Cuban society, including the poor. The current and fourth wave began in 1989 with the tightening of the U.S. embargo in 1992. There are three methods today Cubans come to the US. People are still coming to America on rafts. Second, in the mid-nineties, the US implemented the “Wet-Foot Dry-Foot Policy,” which states any Cuban who reaches American soil can remain in the United States as refugees. Third, there are beneficiaries of a unique visa lottery system the two governments agreed to implement in 1994 (Pew Hispanic Center, 2006).
In the 2010 The Census Bureau reports, there were 1.8 million Cuban populations in the US, which is an increase of 44 percent from the 2000 report of 1.2 million. The highest population concentration is in Miami, Florida, which is sixty-three percent of the population (Ennis, Ríos-Vargas & Albert, 2011). “Together with American-born Cuban descendants, they represent not only the largest ethnic group in south Florida but also the largest concentration of Cubans living outside of Cuba today” (Woltman & Newbold, 2009). This is because of the proximity to the Florida coast, Cubans have often arrived in Florida first, and most of them settle in Miami. There is even a section of the city called “Little Havana,” which is the named after Cuba’s capital.
The acculturation process for the Cuban American assimilation depends on the migration wave. The Cubans who migrated in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s were often the rich and had the funds to flee the Communist regime, and therefore assimilated more easily due to their high levels of education...

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