19 thoughts on “A Thursday Thought”

  1. Tough question. I guess the Cuban Adjustment Act — and its evil amendment wet-foot/dry-foot — gives Cubans special status under our immigrations laws; that does not, however, alter their personal motives for coming here. What those are, only they know.

  2. I will have to say no on this one. With all due respect to the Cuban people that came here, and the hardships they faced in Cuba, most of them probabaly didn’t even speak out against the government. To me, a political asylee is someone that has spoken out against their government (more than a few times) and are being threatened by that government (along w/their immediate family). I won’t count people that have spoken out to their friends and families. I’m talking about people that have been singled out by the government. Yes, the rules of Cuba have made everyone in the populace a spy, but they’re actual political prisioners out there that don’t take that into consideration and speak out regardless. If Yoani from Generacion Y would arrive on boat she would be a political asylee. If a famous baseball looking to make it big in the majors comes on a boat he wouldn’t be a political asylee.

  3. they go hand in hand. The political system is what makes them economic refugees in the first place.

    Case in chief, years ago when I represented some arrivals at Krome pro se my client told me that he was banned by the government from working in the tourist industry (he taught scuba and surfing; fishing, etc.) because he had the audacity to keep tips that the tourists gave him. They were working for Spanish company and were supposed to give the tips to the government.

    Another client of mine was arrested because he used to sell food out of his house. He was ratted out by the local CDR and was arrested.

    These examples are not like those of the dissidents who speak out, but they are being persecuted economically.

  4. From immigration.com:

    What does political asylum mean?

    Asylum may be granted to people who are already in the United States and are unable or unwilling to return their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. If you are granted asylum, you will be allowed to live and work in the United States. You also will be able to apply for permanent resident status one year after you are granted asylum.

  5. I think all Cubans would be asylees based on that definition. The Cuban government’s going to think that every returned defectee is part of a “particular social group” (CIA, FBI, Cuban exile groups, etc). Those nutjobs are whackos that they’ll believe the U.S. “brainwashed” them.

    However, I feel that people that actually speak out or fight against the Cuban government deserve the distinction of “political asylee”.

  6. Many of those who come today-even if they hate Castro, still have a 3rd world anti American mentality. Those who came in 1959 – 60, 61, 62 were different – they worked hard and became for the most part patriotic towards the nation that took them in. Those who come today expect a handout, and since they have been tainted souls due to 50 years of revolutionary “brainwashing” they are more likely to hate Bush and all things American.

  7. I do not consider many of the recent arrivals political asylees, if you leave your country for political reasons, you don’t return for a visit as soon as you can pay for the trip, those that I have meet don’t want to “talk politics”, they are reaping the benefits earned by the exile.

  8. I agree with your assesment Cigar Mike. No matter what reason Cubans leave Cuba it comes down to one thing…CASTROS! Even if it’s economical, it comes down to the lack of rights Cubans have for private ownership.

    There’s more of a sympathy factor for people that actually stand up to the Castros. Those people are the ones that will be persecuted every single minute until they stop their “counterrevolutionary” activities.

    As you said though, all this goes hand in hand.

  9. Val, Another very good question! I agree with those of you who say it is one and the same, when you are talking about a political system that denies people the human right of being treated as individuals and having control over their own economic destiny. Whether or not they speak out, they are still voting with their feet and would still be considered “traitors” by the Cuban government.

  10. “When you consider socialism, do not fool yourself about its nature. Remember that there is no such dichotomy as ‘human rights’ versus ‘property rights.’ No human rights can exist without property rights. Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life. To deny property rights means to turn men into property owned by the state. Whoever claims the ‘right’ to ‘redistribute’ the wealth produced by others is claiming the ‘right’ to treat human beings as chattel.” — Ayn Rand

    Therefore, for someone that escapes communism, there is no such dichotomy as ‘political’ versus ‘economic” asylum.

  11. No I don’t think all Cubans are asylees because not all cubans (if you go by the definition on immigration.com) fear going back to Cuba because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

    The majority of the Cubans that come here today are most probably coming here to work and maintain their families back home that may not want to come to the US, period.

    I don’t think they come here to pay their taxes and be the most exuberant citizens…

    thats just my take.

  12. Muchos de ellos dicen que estaban mejor en Cuba. I’m talking about a lot of late comers. They also return to the island as soon as they can and as often so I personally do not consider them political asylees. There are some who do come here that are but the great majority of them are not.

  13. in my opinion,i consider all cubans political asylees,although some of them don’t know it yet because of brainwashed,total misinformation about the world,and this country specifically,etc….

    saludos

  14. In 1953 Congress passed the Refugee Relief Act which allowed persons fleeing Communism to enter the United States outside of the quota system. President Eisenhower gave it his full support claiming that the Refugee Relief Act was a direct way of “inflicting a psychological blow to Communism and drain away BRAIN power.” I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Hungarian history, but suffice it to say that in 1957 the Eisenhower administration encouraged Hungarians to revolt against the Communist regime. Unfortunately, this “revolution” failed because the Hungarians -which had expected U.S. military support- didn’t get it. Several hundred thousand had to flee the country. Many were given asylum in the United States.

    Several years later when the Hungarians became homesick and wanted to visit family and friends still living in Hungary, they were advised by the State Department that as political exiles they were no allowed to go since the political situation was the same. However, they still decided to go, the U.S. government reserved the right to not allow them back in.

    The Refugee Relief act was the predecessor of the Cuban Refugee program which was established on February 3, 1961; and the Cuban Adjustment Act that was later enacted on November 2, 1966. From 1959 to approximately 1987 most Cubans were considered Exiles. After U.S. Cuba migration accords were established in order to promote an orderly migration, the United States had to provide at least 20,000 “immigrant visas” to Cubans annually.

    There are several ways for Cubans to come to the United States: Diversity visas, immigrant visas, political asylum (refugee), or the lottery. If you arrive in the U.S. through the lottery, diversity visa or with an immigrant visa you are NOT considered a refugee or an exile for the simple reason that the U.S. has the same migration accord with other countries. If you enter the U.S. by any other means (raft, boat, or through the U. S./Mexican border) you can ask for political asylum. Either way, the Cuban Adjustment Act (which in my humble opinion is no longer doing what it was meant to do and should be repealed) is applied to any native of Cuba. With the Cuban Adjustment Act, Cubans can become U.S. residents in one year and a day, and six months later they are in Cuba having fun in the sun.

    So… My answer is no. Not all Cubans are Political Asylees. In theory and in practice.

  15. I just read all the comments from Thurs.
    can someone answer me this question…
    Is it legal for a cuban who claimed political asylum who is a resident
    of the united states and getting welfare , is he allowed to travel to cuba?
    I just find this crazy that they milk the US… came here saying they
    hated cuba…yet the cubans who work hard paid taxes cannot get the free benefits the so called political asylees that came thru charity churches get. Many Cubans who came here and were never on welfare cannot travel within the united estate because they are on a fix income. something is wrong with this picture.

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