It’s hard to find a starker sign of the divide in the Cuban American community than a bill introduced recently by Rep. David Rivera. It’s el exilio vs. the immigrants, and it’s getting ugly.
It goes beyond recent efforts by him and Rep. Diaz-Balart to limit Cuban American travel to once every three years.
Rep. Rivera wants to delay the process whereby Cuban migrants become legal permanent residents. Under his bill (H.R. 2771) they would be eligible to apply for “green card” status five years after arriving in the United States, as opposed to the one-year wait that is in effect today.
The impact would be to keep Cuban immigrants in “parolee” status for an extra four years, during which they would not travel to Cuba.
A second, harsher impact would be a four-year delay in eligibility for voting. When all works well, citizenship comes five years after the green card. Rep. Rivera would add four years to the wait for green card eligibility, which means an extra four-year wait for citizenship and voting eligibility.
All in all, it’s an effective if indirect scheme to block travel by recent immigrants, which most of us regard as none of anyone’s business, much less the government’s, and to delay their attaining citizenship and participating in elections, which most of us regard as something beautiful, the culmination of an immigrant’s decision to come here and become part of our country.
Only in Miami.