The paper is remarkable because it is so political, even partisan in its approach. It’s even more remarkable because it is a blunt appeal to resentment of immigrants that one sees made against immigrant communities, but never within an immigrant community.
But there’s the rub – because in de Salas’ view, “post-Soviet Cuban migrants” don’t fit in the community, el exilio historico. They travel back and forth to
I’m all for reviewing
Here’s the partisan part: In de Salas’ paper, there are just two villains behind these policies: Presidents Clinton and Obama. But the U.S.-Cuba migration accords, negotiated by President Clinton, were maintained and observed by President Bush. And the benefits and privileges listed above have sat pretty well with Cuban Miami’s “conservative principles and allegiances,” to say nothing of the fact that they have been supported by
If the policy is a tangled mess, it’s a bipartisan mess, and it’s one that could not have come into being without the support of
As for resentment, de Salas claims that Cuban immigrants cost too much in government benefits, their “demographic effects will overwhelm
He says not a word about immigrants’ contributions to the
He doesn’t match Benjamin Franklin’s famous denunciation of German immigrants in the 18th century – “Not being used to
“A political bonus for Havana will be the influential role of post-Soviet Cuban immigrant voters in Florida who may turn out in even larger numbers for Obama and the Democrats in the 2010 and 2012 elections after a seismic shift to the left among Cuban-American voters in November 2008, when 47 percent of the Cuban electorate in Florida voted for Obama. In so doing Castro’s own rebellious ‘children of the Revolution’ may paradoxically constitute a highly influential constituency in U.S. presidential politics which, while furthering their own collective self-interest in traveling freely and remitting financial resources to relatives in Cuba, will also serve Havana’s purposes by bolstering prospects for the unilateral lifting of the U.S. embargo and normalization of relations before the end of Obama’s expected second term in office, which Cuba will do everything possible to support.”
The paper’s sense of alarm is driven by the contention that President Obama’s policies will cause higher levels of Cuban immigration.
More will come, the argument goes, because they know their visits home will not be restricted. To the contrary, one could speculate that fewer will come because under the Obama policies, Cubans will feel less isolated from their family members abroad and will receive more economic support from them.
This paper is one researcher’s opinion, so it probably says little about the future of an immigration policy that has been settled for years. But it draws a sharp line between earlier generations of exiles and more recent immigrants, and its message to newcomers from the island is pretty clear: Not only do we not agree with you, we don’t want to see you here.