The migration of the Cubans and the Haitians to the United States of America happened under almost similar circumstances in their home countries, although the reception in the United States of America was different to each group. The Haitians were treated harsher than the Cubans although an act of America required same treatment for all the immigrants. The response from America confirmed this difference in their procedures by saying that the immigrants who were fleeing the communist countries had to be treated better than the other immigrants. This paper will try to compare and contrast the immigrants in Miami both from the Cuba country and from Haiti because it is in this area where the immigrants majorly settled.
The Haitian immigration can be dated back to the year 1802 when slave trade revolt led by Toussaint L’Ouverture seeking for independence and trying to end the slave trade happened. Though it was successful, the Haiti government was not stable and went on crumbling in all aspect even economical. For example, between the 1800s and 1934, there was a change in government twenty-two times which is a proof of this fact. Haitians first wave immigrants to the United States of America happened in 1957, but the early immigrants by boat landed on the coast of America in 1963. They were not accepted and were deported back to their country. Not until 1977 did the Haitian immigrants entirely started settling in the United States of America. In contrast, the Cubans who migrated from their homeland when Fidel Castro overthrew the government of Bastia in the 1950s started settling in Miami in the early 1960s and were considered as the major contributors to the development of Miami. From the immigration, we can see the difference in treatment between the Haitians who were deported back and the Cubans who have been accepted to settle in America at almost the same times (LiPuma, and Thomas, 370). The treatment shows that the Cubans were preferred to the Haitians. An immigrant act that was signed between the United States of America and the Cuba in 1966 provided for a long-standing and preferential treatment to the Cuban immigrants. The act that was approved gave a guarantee to the Cubans living in the United States of America for a least one year to adjust to a permanent residence. In other words, they ceased being refugees but became American citizens (Kyle, David, and Marc, 305). Following the amendment of the act in 1966, there arose the ‘wet foot and dry foot’ practice which required the American guard to halt and send back any Cuban who was found in the sea, unless they feared for persecution. It went on to state that the any Cuban who successfully reached the shore of the united states of America could not be sent back, but were to be investigated but the department of the home country and then allowed to settle in the USA.
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