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  1. #1
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    Recession Slows Cuban Migration

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/ ... 4895.story

    Recession slows Cuban migration
    The economic slowdown in the United States is leading to a slowdown in the number of Cuban immigrants coming to this country
    By Luis F. Perez | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    5:08 PM EDT, April 30, 2009
    MIAMI - The recession has hit Cuban migration -- hard.

    The number of Cubans entering the United States has dropped by more than 40 percent compared with the year before, Department of Homeland Security numbers show. It's the biggest drop in 20 years, said Luis Diaz, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman.

    Cubans are staying put in large part because of the economic doldrums in the United States, experts say. Cuban-Americans here are telling family members on the island about the tough times, keeping them from making the dangerous trek across the water or the Southwest border desert, they said.

    "People here are going to say: 'Hey you know what, let the state take care of you in Cuba, as meager as that is, because I'm hardly making a living or I'm unemployed,' " said Rafael Lima, an assistant professor at the University of Miami ,who produced two documentary films about Cuba.



    Immigration from other areas has slowed as well, although nowhere near as dramatically. The most recent U.S. Census population estimates show that in the first three months of this year migration from Mexico and Central American countries is down by about 2 percent compared with last year, said Aaron Terrazas, an associate policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

    Since the start of the fiscal year Oct. 1, 3,702 Cubans have asked for asylum. Last year, 14,061 Cubans made their way into this country. Almost 90 percent of the ones arriving this year came across the Southwest border, according to DHS.

    Fewer Cubans have been stopped on the water as well.

    Coast Guard figures show they've intercepted 513 Cubans since October. In the same time frame the previous fiscal year, the Coast Guard picked up 1,308 Cuban migrants. DHS officials attribute the drop to better inter-agency coordination and stepped up prosecutions of smugglers.

    "We're being more effective because were taking the most prolific smugglers off the water," said Coast Guard Capt. Peter Brown.

    Katrin Hansing, associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, said smugglers may be aware of DHS' effort. But for Cubans, it's about the economy.

    "People on the island are feeling it like everyone else in Latin America," she said.

    The weather also plays a role, Lima and Hansing said. The weather forecast this week calls for winds around 20 miles per hour most days, according to the National Weather Service.

    "Nobody is going to come from Cuba in those winds," Lima said.

    Once the head winds on the water and the economy turn, however, Lima expects the migration pattern to return to levels seen in the past. "Watch this summer," he said.

    Luis F. Perez can be reached at lfperez@SunSentinel.com or 954-356-4553.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member SOSADFORUS's Avatar
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    Now just how would they know this??? they haven't a clue!
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  3. #3
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    I think Lima did not take one thing into consideration: the easing and lifting of limits on travel and money sent to Cuba. These guys will stay put awaiting US dole from relatives and added income will be support by their government. They come here for one reason: money, so if money is taken to them, why risk the trip?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    Vortex you are partly correct but also they are really starting to get tough on the smugglers who bring them here. The state of Florida did pass their human smuggling law that I posted earlier this week.
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