News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrorcuba — Viewing Item

Florida more anti cubans { November 14 2002 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

November 14, 2002
U.S. Policy Favors Cuban Refugees

Filed at 5:12 p.m. ET

MIAMI (AP) -- Eight Cubans land in Key West aboard a crop-duster and are allowed to remain in the United States. More than 200 Haitians come ashore aboard a rickety ship near downtown Miami and are all but certain to be sent back to their desperately poor homeland.

The two groups' very different fates dramatize what some Haitian-Americans say is a cruel and racist double standard in U.S. immigration policy, shaped largely by the Cold War.

``If you come here from a communist country, it's OK. If you come from a white country, it's OK. If you come here from a black country, noncommunist, it's not OK,'' said Jacques Despinosse, a North Miami city councilman who represents the city's growing Haitian-American community.

For more than 40 years, Cuban refugees have routinely been given asylum in the United States. Under a ``wet-foot, dry-foot'' policy adopted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the 1990s, Cubans who reach U.S. soil are automatically allowed to stay; those caught at sea are sent home.

The government's explanation is that the Cubans are fleeing Fidel Castro's communist government and are assumed to face political persecution if they are returned.

Haitians, who represent the latest large wave of immigrants arriving in South Florida, are usually deported, often after being detained by the INS until their asylum cases are heard. The government says most of the Haitians are economic, not political, refugees and not entitled to asylum.

The different policies were thrown into sharp relief by the arrival of the Cuban family in Key West on Monday and the televised dash for freedom by more than 200 Haitians on Oct. 29.

Rep. Carrie Meek, a black Democrat from Miami, confronted Gov. Jeb Bush during a campaign stop last month, urging him to contact his brother President Bush and get him to free the Haitians.

``All you have to do is call -- the wet-foot, dry-foot policy would take effect,'' she said. ``You can do it.''

Meek and other community leaders have said they will hold a protest march on Washington in February.

The differing policies on Cuba and Haiti might reflect a difference in political influence.

South Florida's Cuban-American community has grown into a powerful economic and political force since the first wave of refugees began arriving more than 40 years ago. Miami-Dade County has an estimated 650,000 Cubans.

The state has elected three Cuban-Americans to Congress, all Miami Republicans: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and Diaz-Balart's brother Mario. The mayors of Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami are Cuban-Americans, as are a majority of the county and city commissions.

The Haitian-Americans' political influence has also been growing, spreading from Miami's Little Haiti into North Miami, but they do not have the clout of the Cubans. The 2000 Census put South Florida's Haitian community at 150,000, though advocacy groups said the number is closer to 450,000.

In 2000, North Miami's Philip Brutus became the first Haitian-American elected to the state Legislature. North Miami's mayor and vice mayor are of Haitian descent. In 1999, the village of El Portal, just north of Miami, became the first U.S. community to have a Haitian majority on its governing body.

An analysis of Justice Department statistics on asylum applications handled by immigration courts in 2000-01 shows the courts denied 88 percent of the asylum applications submitted by Haitians.

Haitian activists said they are not asking that the wet-foot, dry-foot policy be taken away from the Cubans. Rather, they want the policy extended to Haitians trying to escape the poverty and violence of Haiti.

``It isn't a question of Cubans versus Haitians,'' said Dina Paul Parks of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights. ``It's a question of Haitians versus everyone else arriving in Miami. It's about the INS choosing folks based on nationality.''

Copyright The Associated Press | Privacy Policy

Amnesty cuba dissidents { April 2 2003 }
Anti castro aid
Anti castro regufees { November 12 2002 }
Bush denounces cuba spanish broadcast { May 20 2003 }
Bush eyes cuba regime change { October 10 2003 }
Bush speech cnn
Bush speech cuba { May 20 2002 }
Carter backs castro on cuba wmd lie
Carter says no proof of cuba bioweapons { May 14 2002 }
Castro accuses bush of plotting with cuban exiles
Castro accuses bush provoking war { May 1 2003 }
Castro denies { May 11 2002 }
Castro invites mahmoud abmadinejad to cuba { February 8 2006 }
Castro to ban use of dollar
Castro us lies { May 11 2002 }
Cia ties to kill castro with exploding cigar { October 19 2000 }
Concerns biological weapons
Cuba accuses meddling { November 9 2002 }
Cuba crackdown 80 trials { April 4 2003 }
Cuba crackdown
Cuba crucial agricultural trade partner with US
Cuba denounces brutal bush measures { May 7 2004 }
Cuba in the cross hairs { October 24 2003 }
Cuba says bioweapons charge pretext to invade
Cuba to defend herself against us
Cuban accused face trial
Dissidents were informers { April 24 2003 }
Florida more anti cubans { November 14 2002 }
Israel sides usa
Policy favors refugees
President calls for cuban recruits to florida
Senate approves easing cuba travel { October 24 2003 }
Tesions over cubans fleeing to united states { December 18 2005 }
Un against embargo { November 12 2002 }
United nations to vote to condemn sanctions
Us may punish cubans { April 17 2003 }
Us orders explusion 14 diplomats { May 14 2003 }
US pays fidel 4k a month for guantanamo bay
White house tightens cuba travel money { May 7 2004 }

Files Listed: 39


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple