Writing such stuff isn’t pleasant–but:
“So what’s wrong with visiting your homeland and families and helping them through their troubles?” many will ask. Nothing — unless you claim the status of a political refugee from that totalitarian homeland on your INS application, take advantage of America’s traditional generosity toward such refugees and then turn around and behave exactly like the immigrant applicants to the U.S. you rudely shoved aside while jumping in front of them in line.
A constant gripe among other Latin Americans who seek U.S. residency is the obnoxious (as they see it) Cuban habit of shoving them aside and jumping in front of the line. This results from the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act that allows Cubans to apply for U.S. political asylum and thus legal residency, and thus citizenship, much faster and more easily than the process for the duskier huddled masses from other points south.
The traditional distinction, of course, was that Cubans (who much preferred living in Cuba previously; indeed in 1958, more Americans lived in Cuba than Cubans in the U.S.) were now fleeing an U.S. enemy/totalitarian regime that prohibited them re-entry.
Their status upon reaching U.S. shores actually had little to do with so-called “political pandering to the powerful Cuban-exile lobby,” and everything to do with something called the Refugee Relief Act signed into law by President Eisenhower in August 1953 to assist Iron Curtain refugees.
Came Castro’s Stalinist regime in 1959 and the Florida straits became a barrier far deadlier than the Iron Curtain. Multiple times more Cubans died trying to breach it than Germans attempting to breach the Berlin Wall. Essentially the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 simply codified the 1953 Refugee Relief Act for victims of tropical Stalinism.
In the ’50s and ’60s Czechs, Hungarians, Russians and East Germans admitted into the U.S. did not immediately clamor to visit the communist nations they just fled, and lavish them with dollars. In fact, the very notion was offensive and insulting to these genuine refugees. In the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s Cubans acted identically, if often more emotionally. Many dropped to the ground and kissed U.S. soil the instant they touched it, often in tears. Pictures and reels of the Mariel Boatlift and incidents before abound in such scenes — scenes that epitomize the motivation of the political refugees America has always welcomed. Those who planned returns to Cuba planned it with carbines and grenades in hand, until they learned (often gape-jawed) that — despite what they had heard daily from Castro’s media — the U.S. government, in fact, arrests any American resident who attempts to give the Castro regime a taste of its own medicine.
“Sorry,” said former President Bush’s policy in 2004 (as advised by Cuban-American Republican legislators.) “But if you’re going back and forth to that country with the full blessing of that country’s regime and spending thousands of dollars per trip, you’re not a political refugee from that regime by any stretch of the definition.”
The rest here.