History of CubanImmigration There have been 4 distinct waves of Cuban immigrants to the US – 1959-1962 – 1965-1974 – 1980 – 1989-2009
First Wave (1959-1962) Because of the rise of Fidel Castro In 1959, the number of Cubans in the United States was estimated to be 124,000. Many Cubans who were unhappy with politics at home fled to the United States. Primarily upper and upper-middle class families in professional and managerial occupations Fled to protect their assets Others followed their families to the U.S. so that they would not be separated. Operación Pedro Pan More than 14,000 Cuban children arrived alone in the U.S. Their parents feared that their children were going to be sent to Soviet bloc countries to be educated so they decided to send them to the States About 215,000 Cubans immigrated to the U.S.
Second Wave (1965-1974) Departureprograms administered by the U.S and Cuban governments. Called “freedom flights” Brought middle and working class Cubans to the United States.
Third Wave (1980)• Mariel boatlift – Marielitos, what the immigrants were called, came from every aspect of Cuban society (upper class, middle class, poor) – Wanted to escape communist tyranny• Fidel Castro sent 20,000 Cubans directly from prison – Also sent mentally ill people from Cuban mental institutions – To clean up Cuba and “poison” the US. • They were labeled "inadmissible" by the US government and sent back to Cuba.
Four th Wave (1989-2009) Began after the collapse of Communism and the tightening of the U.S. embargo in 1992. Approximately 33,000 Cubans immigrated to the US due to trade relations with the Soviet Union. Balseros, or rafters, floated to Florida on “boats” that they created. Immigrants who won the lottery system the US & Cuban governments agreed upon in 1994. “Wet foot, dry foot” policy States that anyone who fled Cuba and got into the United States would be allowed to pursue residency a year later but anyone who was caught in the water would be sent back.
Lottery System The U.S. set a quota of 20,000 immigrant visas annually for Cubans – 5,000 come from a lottery system. Benefits – Gives Cubans permanent U.S. residency. – Lottery winners are entitled to a Green Card and work assistance in the United States. – Children of the winners are allowed to enroll in the public school system. – May be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship within five years of winning. Lottery winners can bring their spouse and children under 21 years of age to the United States. Requirements: – Must be between 18 and 55 years old and have a minimum of a high school education. – Must have been employed for the past two years. – Must submit medical records and any criminal records After winning the lottery, applicants must pass an immigration visa interview.
History of Cuban Immigrants Virtually all Cuban immigrants have been admitted under a special parole power that immediately grants them full legal status. Until 1985, there was no quota for Cubans entering the United States. It was officially assumed that anyone arriving in the United States from Cuba was a refugee and were automatically granted refugee status. The Attorney General has the power to guarantee permanent residency to any Cuban who has been in the United States for a year • Includes those who have overstayed their visas. Out of 33,000 Cubans, nearly 31,000 were detained at Guantanamo Bay. • In 1995, the U.S. Attorney General announced that the Cubans in Guantanamo would be permitted to enter the United States if they had no criminal history. • In 1996, these Cubans were officially admitted as parolees. The perception of these parolees was that most would contribute to the U.S. economy since they were generally educated, professional, and highly motivated. • The U.S. government surpassed their annual limit of 20,000 immigration visas.
Cubans in the US According to pewhispanic.org, Cubans are older, have a higher level of education, higher median household income and higher rate of home ownership compared to the rest of the Hispanic population in the US. There was an estimated 1,448,684 Cubans in the U.S. in 2004. In 2006, Cubans made up about 4% of the Hispanic population
Cubans in the US More than two-thirds of Cubans (68%) live in Florida. The state with the next highest concentration of Cubans is New Jersey, followed by New York, California, and Texas. More than a third of all Cubans (37%) were born in the United States. Among the approximately Cubans who are foreign born, 30% entered the United States before 1980, 12% entered between 1980 and 1990 and 21% entered after 1990. Among Cubans in Florida, 70% are foreign-born. About 31% entered before 1980 14% entered between 1980 and 1990 26% entered after 1990. The median age of Cubans is 41, compared to the median age of other Hispanics (27). The median age of Cubans who entered the United States before 1980 is 63. The median age of Cubans who entered the US between 1980 and 1990 is 50 and is 38 for those who entered after 1990. Cubans in Florida have a higher median age (42) than Cubans elsewhere in the country (38). One of the characteristics of the Hispanic population is that Latinos tend to be younger than the rest of the U.S. population. But this is not the case with Cubans. Among Cubans, 29% are under 25, compared with 46% among all Hispanics and 31% among non-Hispanic whites. About 27% of Cubans in Florida are under 25, compared with 32% outside Florida.
Cubans in the US About 60% of Cubans are U.S. citizens, over twice the rate of other Hispanics (26%) and higher than for non-Hispanic, foreign-born whites (56%). About nine out of every 10 Cubans who arrived before 1990 are U.S. citizens. Among those who arrived between 1980 and 1990, 60% are citizens. Among those who arrived after 1990 18% are citizens. The center of the Cuban community is in Miami Towards the end of the 19th century Cubans, especially musicians, began to settle in places such as New Orleans, Louisiana. Cubans played an influential role in the jazz music that New Orleans is now known for. Cuban communities, such as "Little Havana,” in Miami, Florida, were established Many Cubans settled in Key West once a railroad was built in Florida.
Identity Cubans are more likely than other Hispanics to identify themselves as white. In the 2004 Census data, about 86% of Cubans said they were white, compared with 60% among Mexicans, 53% among other Central and South Americans and 50% among Puerto Ricans. Hispanics who identify themselves as white have higher levels of education and income and than those who don’t. The Pew Hispanic Center’s 2006 National Survey of Latinos asked respondents whether they considered the United States or their country of origin to be their real homeland. More than half (52%) of Cubans said they considered the U.S. their real homeland More than Mexicans (36%), Central and South Americans (35%), and Puerto Ricans (33%).
Language More than two-thirds (69%) of Cubans under 18 speak a language other than English at home. – About the same as other Hispanics (67%). Among those 18 and older, about 89% of Cubans speak a language other than English at home, – A higher rate than among Hispanics (80%). Among native-born Cubans, almost two-thirds (64%) speak a language other than English at home. About 12% of Cubans under 18 speak English less than very well. – Compared with 20% among other Hispanics. Among Cubans 18+, 49% speak English less than very well. – Higher than among other Hispanics (46%). About 40% of foreign-born Cubans under 18 speak English less than very well. – More than among other Hispanics (20%). Among Cubans 18 and older who entered before 1980, 48% speak English less than very well. – Among those who entered between 1980 and 1990, 68% speak English less than very well – Among those who entered after 1990, 82% speak English less than very well.
Economic Characteristics The median household income for Cubans is $38,000 Higher than for other Hispanics ($36,000) but lower than for non-Hispanic whites ($48,000). Native-born Cubans have a higher median income ($50,000) than non-Hispanic whites ($48,000). Among foreign-born Cubans, those who arrived before 1980 have the highest median income ($38,000). Cubans who arrived between 1980 and 1990 have a lower median income ($30,000) compared with those who arrived in 1990 or later ($33,000). Cubans living outside Florida ($44,000) have a higher median income than those living in Florida ($36,000).
Economic Characteristics Poverty rates for Cubans are generally lower than for other Hispanics. About 13% of Cubans under 18 are in poverty compared to the rate for other Hispanics (27%). About 11% of Cubans between 18 and 64 are in poverty compared to other Hispanics (17%) Older Cubans (65+) have higher poverty rates (24%) than other Hispanics (18%) or non-Hispanic whites (7%). The poverty rate is higher among foreign-born Cubans ages 17 and younger (21%) and 65 and older (24%) compared with those who are native born (12% ages 17 and younger, 11% ages 65+). For Cubans ages 18 to 64, the poverty rate is 10% for native-born and 11% for those who are foreign born. About 61% of Cubans own their home compared to all other Hispanics (47%). Among non-Hispanic whites, about three quarters (74%) own their own home. Foreign born Cubans have a higher rate of home ownership (62%) than those who are native born (58%). Among foreign-born Cubans, the highest rate of home ownership is among those who entered before 1980 (72%).
Education• One out of four (25%) Cubans 25 and older is a college graduate – more than twice the rate of other Hispanics (12%) – lower than among non-Hispanic whites in the same age group (30%).• Among native-born Cubans 25+, 39% are college graduates – compared with 22% among foreign-born Cubans.• Cubans 25 and older who entered the U.S. between 1980 and 1990 have the lowest graduation rate among foreign-born Cubans (13%) – Compared with 24% for those who entered the US before 1980 – 26% for those who entered the US after 1990.• Almost half (49%) of all Cubans 25 and older are high school graduates – Higher than for other Hispanics in the same age group (47%) – Lower than non-Hispanic whites (59%).• Among native-born Cubans 25 and older, 54% are high school graduates. – Higher rate than among foreign-born Cubans (48%)