Cuban Immigration To America From 1959

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Cuban immigration to America from 1959

Responding mostly to political and economic changes and realities in Cuba, Cubans have migrated to the United States for nearly 2 centuries. Although most Cubans who migrated to the United States did so hoping for a quick return to the island, history dictated otherwise, and in the process, Cuban migrants have left permanent marks in major U.S. cities from Key West and Tampa, Florida, to New York City, Philadelphia, and Miami. The latter is by far the largest and most permanent Cuban community in U.S. history. As a result, since the late 1960s, Cuban migrants in the United States, as well as their descendants, adopted Cuban American as a label that proclaimed their equally Cuban and U.S. cultural identities.(Azmitia,45)

The Cuban community in Miami, Florida, represents the largest concentration of Cubans in the United States. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 900,000 of the 1.5 million Cubans in the United States reside in Florida, making it the largest immigrant group in the state. The present ethnic community traces its origins to 1959, when reactions to political and social changes implemented by the Cuban Revolution, led by Fidel Castro, triggered a mass migration of political exiles to South Florida. Since then, Miami has served as the main point of entry for Cuban immigrants, and the city has experienced four massive waves of Cuban migration (1959-1962, 1965-1973, 1980, and 1994-1995) in 35 years. Today, Miami is the city with the third-largest concentration of Cubans in the world.(Ovando,1)


Several restrictive language policies emerged toward the end of the 19th century as the common school movement gained momentum. For Native Americans, restrictive language policies were instituted as a part of a comprehensive campaign toward assimilation. (Contreras,456)For German immigrants, who in 1880 represented nearly one third of all foreign-born individuals in the country, restrictive language policies were associated with growing religious tensions between Catholics and Protestants. In 1889, Illinois and Wisconsin embraced English-only laws, and in 1894, the Immigration Restriction League was founded to educate the population on the immigration system, to gain support for immigration restriction, and to lobby for restrictive legislation. The league remained active for nearly 20 years.

Following measures launched to limit immigration flows—such as the Naturalization Act of 1906, which required immigrants be able to speak English to become naturalized citizens, and the Dillingham Commission—the percentage of overall foreign-born in the United States began to decline. Early 20th-century initiatives were concerned about clashes among the various traditions and languages from Southern, Eastern, and Central Europe. (Ovando,1)Such initiatives intensified during and after World War I, which resulted in a push toward monolingualism and the elimination of German as part of the curriculum of many schools.(Portes,321) Immediately after the war, the Bureau of Naturalization and the Bureau of Education sponsored bills to increase federal aid to teach English to nonna-tive speakers and to American Indians. By 1923, the legislatures of 34 states had imposed English-only instruction in all private and public schools. Soon thereafter, the ruling of Meyer ...
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