New Book and Launch: “Cuban Privilege”

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Susan Eckstein’s Cuban Privilege: The Making of Immigrant Inequality in America (Cambridge University Press, 2022) will be launched with a discussion moderated by Jorge Duany (Director, Cuban Research Institute, FIU) on Friday, December 9, 2022, 7:00pm, at Florida International University’s Wertheim Performing Arts Center (located at 10910 SW 17th Street, Miami, Florida).

Mary C. Waters (Harvard University) describes, “Cuban Privilege is the story of how eleven presidents from Eisenhower to Obama accorded Cuban immigrants privileges denied to all other immigrants. By contrasting the different treatment afforded to Dominican and Haitian immigrants, Eckstein demonstrates the interplay of race, foreign policy and politics in our immigration system. A terrific history and sociology of immigration policy, this book is a window into the realities of America’s messy and unequal immigration policies. [. . .].”

Description: For over half a century the US granted Cubans, one of the largest immigrant groups in the country, unique entitlements. While other unauthorized immigrants faced detention, deportation, and no legal rights, Cuban immigrants were able to enter the country without authorization and have access to welfare benefits and citizenship status. This book is the first to reveal the full range of entitlements granted to Cubans. Initially privileged to undermine the Castro-led revolution in the throes of the Cold War, one US President after another extended new entitlements, even in the post-Cold War era.

Drawing on unseen archives, interviews, and survey data, Cuban Privilege highlights how Washington, in the process of privileging Cubans, transformed them from agents of US Cold War foreign policy into a politically powerful force influencing national policy. Comparing the exclusionary treatment of neighboring Haitians, the book discloses the racial and political biases embedded within US immigration policy.

See more information and register for the event at

For more information on the book, see

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