Later Cuban Immigration • Another group of immigrants, the sudden influx of 125,000 Cubans in 1980 often called the “Mariel boatlift” (after the port from which they sailed), gave rise to some popular myths and stereotypes that characterized these refugees as undesirables—poorer and less educated than earlier groups of immigrants and containing a large percentage of criminals and the mentally ill. • Some in this group left Cuba voluntarily and some, considered undesirable by the Cuban government, were forced to leave. However, of the entire group, only a few hundred were mentally ill and required institutionalization, and fewer than one in five had been in prison in Cuba. Fewer than 2 percent were subsequently imprisoned in a U.S. penitentiary. Moreover, the education level of the group was similar to that of the 1970s’ immigrants. More than 11 percent were professionals; 71 percent were blue-collar workers. Nevertheless, the arrival of this group fueled an upsurge of prejudice against all Cuban Americans. • On arrival the Mariel immigrants were housed in tent cities in the Miami area and flown to
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Cuba – United States relations, Cuban American, Cubans