Cuban Migrants … Yes or No?
The Cuban Missile Crisis has always been a topic in my house growing up. My parent’s wedding was put on hold because my dad was active military and until the Crisis was resolved he wasn’t allowed to leave the base or get married. Their wedding went off, without a hitch, that November of 1962. But, I have to admit, I have been relatively ambivalent about Cuban migrants. I can’t say I am really, really for or really, really against these Cuban migrants. But, it does beg the question, why do they still seek the refuge of the United States?
This is a topic I cannot relate to. Being born a US citizen truly makes me blessed, but on the other hand possibly arrogant to the plights of the rest of the world. I take for granted the opportunities we have here and cannot imagine a life any other way. But, do I take advantage of these opportunities? Nope. If I told you the only way for you to experience true freedom over your life would be to escape your home and travel to an unknown place, face possible death, this is something I simply cannot relate to. I wake up everyday, free and in complete control of my future and life. Yep, you could say I am a stereotypical lazy American.
I look forward to Friday …. every week I am not on vacation. Because that ends my work week…. I am free to do what I want. But, look at how some immigrants to this country use every moment of every day to eke out a living running their own businesses. Making a better life for their families. Me, I show up to my job and count down the days to Friday. Hmmmm…. maybe we need to rethink what we do with our freedoms given to us in this country, simply by being born here.
The article in the KeyNews.com paper yesterday, said a spike in Cuban migrants can be correlated to the whispers the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 may end. This Act states if the migrants touch US sand/soil, then they can seek asylum and be processed through the Immigration service. If they are intercepted in the waters, then they are repatriated back to Cuba. Mariners are encouraged to contact the Coast Guard should they see any migrants, but since October 1st, over 3,200 Cubans have tried to migrate to the United States. That’s a lot of people still seeking a better life in the United States.
The Keys, as well as most of Florida, has a long history with Cuba and those who have immigrated from Cuba. I have met wonderful people who can trace their family back to Cuba and if their relatives had not set off on the treacherous journey across the ocean, I would have been denied the opportunity to meet them. I can say that about my own family. We thank our relatives for taking the leap of faith and setting out to America. They immigrated from Ireland and Scotland, but if they had not set out to seek a better life, I probably wouldn’t have the life I have today. So, as a country of immigrants, I can see we are the land of opportunity and we need to ensure those opportunities are available to all of those who seek them. But, I also see, we need to control the borders and control who and how those enter seeking those opportunities.
This is a very hot topic and I am sure I will spark some very strong comments on each side. That said, I encourage these comments as I am a person who really wants to understand each side. Let’s start the conversation and see how we can move forward on resolving the issue to make the United States stronger, better and a place the world sees as a place of freedom and opportunity.