Increase of Cuban Immigrants to Miami Part II

February 9, 2016 9:17 am
by David Jakeman

As mentioned in Part I of this story, the United States has seen a significant influx of Cuban immigrants to the country as relations between the two countries have improved over the past two years. Immigrants have traditionally come by boat, but recent developments saw many entering Ecuador and then traveling overland to the United States. But Ecuador has recently stopped issuing visas to Cubans, closing paths for those with Cuban passports from leaving the country.

Example Cuban immigrant to Miami

One recent immigrant to the United States is Jordan Hernandez, who has only been in Miami a few months. Hernandez first started his journey by flying from Cuba to Ecuador, but the eleven months he spent in Ecuador were difficult, and he had a hard time finding consistent work. As a result, he made the journey to the United States travelling by bus and car through Central America.
Not long after Hernandez made his journey, Nicaragua stopped allowing Cuban migrants to enter the country, and Hernandez was lucky to have made it through in the nick of time. But life in Miami has not been easy for Hernandez either. Miami immigration attorneys often help clients who are struggling to make ends meet. Hernandez, despite Miami’s significant Cuban American population, does not have any family in the area.

Making Do in Miami

Hernandez has cobbled things together the best he can while he waits for a work permit. When he first arrived, Hernandez slept on the street because he didn’t have anywhere to stay. Fortunately for him, he met Alicia Garcia, another Cuban immigrant. Garcia helps recent Cuban immigrants make the transition to their new lives in the United States. She helps with applications for financial aid, but the waiting list is months long. Not having family in the States can make things quite difficult.

Although there is a large Cuban-American population in Miami, many of the Cuban immigrants coming to the United States are younger and don’t have the family connections. One organization in Miami, Church World Service, helps resettle refugees. Sometimes they help refugees settle in places like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Texas, places that often have greater work opportunities and cheaper rent than in Miami.

For now, Church World Service has been able to handle the uptick in immigrants. It’s impressive they’ve been able to help so many. And they will continue to be needed as more Cuban migrants are likely to make the trip, hoping to make it to the United States before any possible changes are made to the US Immigration Code.

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