As one of his final acts as president, and as part of his effort to thaw relations with Cuba, Barack Obama officially ended America’s Wet Foot, Dry Foot policy. This 22-year old mandate granted asylum to Cubans who landed on US soil, allowing them to become legal permanent residents after one year. Cubans intercepted in the ocean coming to the US were apprehended and returned to Cuba. Although beneficial to Cubans fleeing their homeland, this policy was seen as a way to subvert the Cuban government.
On December 2, the Center for Latin American Studies hosted a panel discussion focusing on how the death of Fidel Castro will affect Cuba and the region as a whole. The event was entitled “The Legacy of Fidel and the Future of Cuba”.
Preceding the 2016 presidential election in the United States pollsters worldwide comfortably sat back after declaring that the country, without a doubt, would be seeing its first Madame President. Much of the strength in these predictions came from a firm belief that (now) President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric would motivate Latino voters, especially in the important swing-state of Florida, to mobilize behind the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton.
On the campaign trail, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump made a lot of big claims in regards to immigration. Among those promises were the infamous wall on the border between Mexico and the U.S., which spurred hundreds of thousands of his supporters to chant “Build that wall!” over the course of his campaign.
“Conceptually, we may call truth what we cannot change; metaphorically, it is the ground on which we stand and the sky that stretches above us.”
— Hannah Arendt, “Truth and Politics”
This past week the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Latin American Studies was excited to host a discussion led by its director Scott Morgenstern titled “Latinos & the US Election.” The presentation explored Latino voting trends, how they are influenced, and - what everybody is wondering about - its potential impact on Tuesday’s election. The following is a summary of dialogue that ensued.
The race for the president of the United States is nearing the finish line and Republican candidate Donald J. Trump and Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton have been pushing harder than ever to win the votes of the American people. Most recently, this week CNN aired what was the most-watched presidential debate in the history of the United States. While both candidates muddled through their respective weaknesses, one story that was exposed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has since dealt a serious blow to entrepreneur Donald Trump’s campaign.
It is no surprise by this point in his candidacy that Donald Trump is no friend to Latinos. Along with his rants about building a wall between the US and Mexico, he has attacked the Mexican people personally. In June of last year he was infamously quoted saying, “When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with them. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."