The federal government has long given out financial benefits to Cubans who immigrate to the United States, but one Cuban-American Florida lawmaker believes that should end.
Republican Representative Frank Artilles wants an end to some of the benefits given to Cuban immigrants under the Cuban Adjustment Act—that includes programs like food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Artilles says other immigrants aren’t eligible for the programs until they earn citizenship.
“As the son of Cuban immigrants, I sympathize with the justifiable causes with which Cubans immigrate to the United States. But this memorial is about parity among all legal immigrants," he said.
The measure passed unanimously through the House’s Local and State Affairs Committee Tuesday, with a show of support coming from Democratic Representative Daphne Campbell who is Haitian-American, and Committee Chairman Dennis Baxley:
“This is very gracious. You could be very parochial, and instead, you’ve been very American. Thank you.”
The memorial doesn’t have any enforcement power and is largely symbolic. The U.S. is moving toward normalizing relations with Cuba though the change in policy isn’t without critics.