This Land Is Our Land: Immigrants and Power in Miami

This Land Is Our Land: Immigrants and Power in Miami

This Land Is Our Land: Immigrants and Power in Miami

This Land Is Our Land: Immigrants and Power in Miami

Synopsis

"This well-written and compelling story of immigrant resident relations in Miami will be read and enjoyed by lay people and scholars, and will no doubt produce stimulating discussions in classrooms throughout urban America."--Jacqueline Hagan, author of "Deciding to Be Legal: A Maya Community in Houston

"Stepick and his colleagues provide a richly-textured and highly-nuanced account of how immigrants are remaking Miami--a city that, in one generation, has been transformed by the influx of Latin American and Caribbean newcomers. Based on long-term direct observation, "This Land Is Our Land puts relations between immigrants and established residents on center stage--showing how both have changed as they encounter each other in schools, workplaces, and business and commerce. This well-written book is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand how immigration is changing America."--Nancy Foner, author of "From Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration

"A path-setting study that explores power, context, and diversity in the culturally heterogeneous, economically vibrant, and politically dynamic city of Miami. Unpacking the complexities of race, ethnicity, and class, this lucidly written work takes the reader on rugged journeys as immigrants of different national origins strive to become American at their own pace and on their own terms. It provides fresh insight into the long-standing American ambivalence toward immigration, making a fine contribution to the burgeoning literature on immigration and inter-racial dynamics. "--Min Zhou, co-author of "Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States

"A valuable account of ethnicrelations in Miami by social scientists who live and work there. Informative and useful material for urban sociologists and specialists on immigration."--Alejandro Portes, coauthor of "Immigrant America and Professor of Sociology a

Excerpt

On Thanksgiving Day 1999, a six-year-old boy, Elián González, was found floating on an inner tube three miles off the Florida coast. He was reportedly surrounded by dolphins and, more surprisingly, in spite of being in the water for three days, he was not sunburned at all. The U. S. Coast Guard spotted the boy, along with the two other survivors of a vessel that had been carrying fourteen passengers from Cuba. The other eleven, including the boy's mother, had apparently drowned. The Coast Guard immediately transferred Elián to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. The two other survivors were rescued after they swam to Key Biscayne, a few miles from downtown Miami.

Two days after the boy was found, Elián's father in Cuba declared that he wanted his son back. Under normal circumstances, the sole surviving parent's wishes are the last word on such matters. However, there is nothing normal about dealing with Cuba or Cuban Americans. Miami Cubans passionately argued that Elián's mother had died to give the boy freedom from Castro's dictatorship and that he should be permitted to stay in Miami with his great uncle, Lázaro González. After a considerable delay and interviews in Cuba with the boy's father, on January 6, 2000, Janet Reno announced, “This little boy, who has been through so much, belongs with his father. ” It was not only the little boy who went . . .

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