Miami has become a major Latino city, representing 70 percent of the population. This began with the fleeing of Cuban-Americans after the rise of Fidel Castro in Cuba. By the late 1960’s, the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) was approved, which granted Cuban immigrants green cards that lasted for a year and a day after arriving to the United States. Because Cuban-Americans were able to integrate themselves at a fast pace, second-generation Cubans in Miami are noticing that they have more resources available to them. Roberto Izurieta, a Professor at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University claims that second-generation Cuban people have “…access to better education, learned English as their first language, and have had higher income than Latino communities in other locations.”
With that being said, this gave rise to the founding of institutions that catered to the needs of Hispanics in the area. For example, Florida International University (FIU) opened in 1972. It was built as a result of the increasing numbers of Cubans who demanded an additional institution of higher learning. As of today, this university has more Latinos graduates than any other institution in the country. Now, Cuban- Americans represent 54 percent of the population, and so they have set the stage for Miami to open its doors to other Latin American countries. The remaining percentage is comprised of other nations, such as the Dominican Republic, Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia, and others.
According to Susan Purcell, Director of the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami, the craze over Miami is also due in part to “political changes as well as a boom in commodities across Latin America resulted in more investment and more migration to Miami.” In other words, the driving force of Florida’s (particularly South Florida’s) economic output is trade, especially with Latin American nations. Thus, entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity to make more money. This economic growth lets Miami serve as an example for other states like Texas and California.
Clarissa Garcia is a Staff Writer for Latino Giant. She is a college freshman currently Undecided at American University, but leaning to the Education field, looking into Secondary Education.
Source: NBC News