chapter  2
48 Pages

Immigrant Imprint in America

How have Cubans of the different émigré waves adapted to the US, and how to explain their differences? This chapter traces differences, in part, to different pre-immigration pasts analytically ignored in existing theories of immigration. Where Cubans settled in large numbers they transformed their environs, at the same time that they assimilated and acculturated to their new milieu. But Exiles, who came with the most transferable assets and with a transnational political agenda, had the greatest impact. They transformed community cultural practices, civic associational and economic life, and, as shown in the next chapter, politics, which they imbued with their own homeland-formed shade of meaning. While capitalizing on opportunities in their new land, they embedded ideas of old anew. And they imposed their views on others, on subsequent immigrants as well as on non-Hispanics into whose midst they moved.