Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rep. Rivera's do-over

Rep. David Rivera apparently thought twice about his bill and plans to change it and re-introduce it, the Herald reports.

The new bill will only affect Cuban Americans who travel to Cuba. It’s hard to get into detail because the Herald story is imprecise and Rivera has issued no explanation of his bill, nor is the new legislative language available.

The Herald says that the new bill will require the government “to rescind the adjusted state of Cubans who return to the island before they obtain their U.S. citizenship.” If “rescind the adjusted state” means revoking Fulano’s legal permanent resident status if he travels to Cuba before becoming a citizen (about five or six years), then Fulano would would presumably return to the status of a parolee. If Rivera’s intent is that Fulano could not then apply for a green card again, then Fulano would be unable to travel again, and unable ever to become a citizen and vote.

The message seems to be this: If you come, you have to wait at least five years before returning to Cuba. If you wait, and become a citizen, then you can vote and travel back to Cuba. If you travel to Cuba before becoming a citizen, you will never travel again to any country, you will never become a citizen, and you will never vote.

Otherwise, welcome to America!

[Note: An earlier version of this post erroneously stated that Ninoska Perez, an important figure in the Cuban American community, opposes the bill. Not so.]


Mambi_Watch said...

Ninoska is actually in the minority in this case. Several hard-line and militant exiles have expressed support for this change. And its been bubbling for a while now.

The origins lie in the long-expressed disappointment by older (and more hard-line) exiles with the newest wave of Cuban immigrants. There have been lots of descriptions of these newly arrived Cubans as lazy, and living off welfare. Then to top it off, they are accused of using their government checks to travel to Cuba.

I believe, the perception of not being "hard-line" like earlier waves is at the heart of the this legislation. And, the added defamation of recently arrived Cubans as lazy and abusive has helped make this legislation a reality.

This is not simply Rivera's bill, he's only responding to the most hard-line and militant voices in Miami who have long complained about the new waves of Cuban immigrants.

Anonymous said...

maybe the blockade and travel restrictions will finally implode thanks to the hard liners taking that last step off the cliff. it's been a joy to watch

Mambi_Watch said...

Correction, Rep. Rivera appeared on Ninoska's show at 3pm today and Ninoska seems fully on board with this bill. The bill seems born from Rep. Rivera's outrage at the increasing travel to Cuba, mostly by Cubans in the US.

Also, Rep. Rivera appeared in a long debate about this bill on WQBA where the show's host, Roberto Rodriguez Tejera, said that Rivera is "opening padora's box" with this bill which in the end may endanger the whole of the CAA.

Phil Peters said...

Thanks for the correction.

Antonio said...

Great posts and comments on this subject. This will make for an interesting battle between the older generation and newly arrived Cubans.
I did not know that US law bars refugees from countries like Iran from returning for a while. I am not sure if that assertion is be totally correct, at least the citizen part.

I do have an Iranian friend here in the US, who is a green card holder and she has returned to Iran.

I guess we will wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Rivera, I guess, doesn't believe in freedom to let american citizens (OR PR) do as they see fit. Rivera, like all wingnuts, believes in freedom on for 'his kind' and then, tries to restrict freedom of others in the most intimate way - ie. regulating family visits. what a loon.

Phil Peters said...

I have looked into this and see that the United States does not bar refugees admitted here from any country from returning to their country, but it advises that it could put their refugee status at risk.