Dr. Susan Eckstein, Boston University
For more than half a century the U.S. granted Cubans unique immigrant entitlements. While other unauthorized immigrants faced detention, deportation, and no legal rights, Cuban immigrants could enter the country without authorization and become lawful residents a year later and, subsequently, citizens, as well as qualify for unique resettlement benefits.
I will describe the range of unique entitlements Cubans have received over the years. Initially privileged to undermine the Castro-led revolution in the throes of the Cold War, U.S. Presidents and Congress will be shown to continue to grant them special entitlements in the post-Cold War. With unauthorized Haitians at the same time typically being blocked from entry, I highlight the racial and political biases embedded in U.S. immigration policy.