Immigration Rallies – Why Miami Is Different

In Miami 60% of the population is foreign born and 75% speak Spanish. Yet, we had some of the smallest pro-immigration rallies in the country. Today’s Herald explains some of the reasons. There are many things to be considered before one rushes headlong into the demonstrations. For one – we need immigrants to ease the labor shortage. They diversify our society – making it healthier and more vibrant. Certainly they deserve all the benefits American workers get. But citizenship? Many here in Miami are here to live, work, pay taxes, send money home – but still remain loyal to their home countries – planning to return someday, perhaps. Many often go home to visit relatives – even those who recently arrived from Cuba. Then you have others – such as Venezuelans – who are really making it here- and have transferred their money here for safety because of the current (and hopefully temporary) situation there. Peruvians will be next if the election runoffs turn out badly. Here are some other reasons:

1. Miamians are fiercely pro-American, even if they are not citizens. Perhaps they would think it better to carry an American flag to a demonstration if they wanted citizenship – not one of their home country.

2. Miamians are too busy at work to take a day off to demonstrate.

3. Political correctness is not popular here – hence no need to re-live the 60’s experience.

4.Citizenship is something to be earned over time – for those who truly want to be Americans and contribute to our society.

10 Comments so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

    There’s long been a misconception – especially on the west coast, that there’s a pan-Latino solidarity that renders anyone with similarly brown skin like-minded when it comes to political questions like immigration policy.

    Cubans do not equal Mexicans, in other words.

    In the West, most of our Latin-American immigrants (legal or otherwise) come from Mexico and Central America. On the east coast, Cubans and South Americans bring different views to the table.

    So your post isn’t surprising – I think recognizing that even among immigrant or ethnic communities opinions vary is very important.

  2. Carlos Albornoz (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 1:54 pm

    I think there is an important issue that you did not mencioned. Miami is plenty of cubans, an they have residence (green card) and all benefits of any american (get married with cubans is better than with americans because you get the ‘green card’ faster). Thus cubans do not have nothing to say regarding “the american hospitality”. Cubans are in Miami a strong gate to suppress any signal of “latin disagree.” They control the church, the business, and the local political parties. Cubans are pro-Bush and they vote for republican because they hate Fidel, and when you hate something you love the opposite. Finally, I would say that United State is the Roma of this time, and Roma Empire was successful because they integrate people from others place offreing the nationality. Of course many latinos do not want the american nationality, but if any of us accept the american nationality, is because they want it, which is a good business for United State. Each nationality accepted by latinos, is one more loyal citicen for United State.

  3. josh (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

    I think that your points are interesting, but few of them are related to the reasons that people across the country marched on Monday. It might be worth reading the CRS summary of HR 4337 for a better understanding of the provisions of the proposed changes to immigration policy to see if you agree or disagree –>

  4. Jeffery Simpson (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

    Also I think the protesters are proud of America. Pictures I saw showed almost as many American flags as Mexican ones at the other protests.

    These are simply people who have come to America, worked hard and want to be able to live their lives without having to worry about it all being taken away from them because of a political move to appease the Republican base.

  5. R. (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

    About your reasons:

    1. Miamians are fiercely pro-American?

    what exactly do you mean by this? that we would support the government whether or not the laws they passed affect us adversely?
    I think that you might be generalizing. the only miamians that I would categorize as ‘fiercely’ pro-American (read: pro-government) are in the cuban community and also, just currently, the venezuelan populace (but not to the same degree).

    2. Miamians are too busy at work to take a day off to demonstrate.

    this is a gross and baseless generalization. I mean, seriously.

    3. Political correctness is not popular here.

    there is a different state of political correctness here in miami, one that does not match up with the rest of the U.S. (that is mostly due to demographics).

    4. I don’t know what point you were trying to make with your fourth statement, but I’m not exactly sure that even every american born, american parented (grand parented or great grand parented) person is really trying to make a conscious contribution to american society more than trying to live comfortably or in some cases simply survive.

    I do know that immigrants here (undocumented or not) would love the luxury of an american citizenship or residency to have that option as well as the opportunity to contribute to their own “back home.”

  6. Carlos (unregistered) on April 16th, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

    Next May 1st will be celebrated the worker’s day around the world. Hispanics around The United States are organizing a complot no buying anything this day. If the complot works, we would see which cities will support the hispanic’s motion.

  7. till (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 2:55 pm

    I like your “too busy” argument. ;-)

    If you are too busy, then what are for example the French – where virtually everything sparks marches, demonstrations and sometimes revolutions?

  8. cynthia (unregistered) on April 27th, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

    I am from miami and its true nobody here is really trying do do something, there are several reasons but a main one is because cubans already have their benefits but i dont think its fair.This country was based On immigration when it first started so how are you going to come and tell me that you are trying to kick out all the immigrants. I dont belieave in that and i think that the president is wrong.

  9. Margo (unregistered) on April 30th, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

    I will be looking for something for tomorrow. Because the situation is seriosuly screwed up. And if yalls are pro-human then Ill be seeing the pro-bush Cubans out there as well.

  10. Tiberius (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

    “A Day Without (whatever)….” is a mouvement packed with Liberals, Crackpots, Bleeding Hearts and Country Club Communists.

    Just the same weirdos that messed with Cuban-Americans during Elian’s Crisis and during Florida Elections.

    Cubans, just plain ignore all that crowd. Let them criminalize themselves…just what they did with Cubans during Elian’s Crisis.

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