The humanitarian principle refers to providing relief to anyone in need without consideration of distinction. People fall in need for several reasons, including political, economic, war, or natural calamities. The people in need are primarily vulnerable and usually need a shoulder to lean on to process their current hardship and find the strength and courage to move on with life. Life is a multi-stage system, and no human can survive alone. Thus, we all need to support one another, bearing in mind that we are interdependent. People who help each other have not many possessions but significant and compassionate hearts (Lown, 2017). People who seek relief undergo many challenges in the quest for a better and safer life. Some countries even set regulations to curtail aiding the needy, which is morally wrong. The following paper contains detailed research on an ethnic community, Afro-Cuban, as they seek relief and the numerous challenges they encounter, such as restraining order Title 42.
History of the Afro-Cubans
The Afro-Cubans have been living in Cuba as early as the 16th century. They initially used to live in various African countries before being forcibly taken to Cuba by Spanish settlers during the slave trade. The enslaved people provided the much-needed cheap labour on the large white farms and thus were essential to the white settlers. The Afro-Cubans worked on sugar plantations which were located on the eastern side of Cuban. Hence, they are presently found on that side of the country. The enslaved people started uprisings around 1533, resulting from constant humiliation and maltreatment by white settlers (Panagiotopoulos & Espirito Santo, 2019). These rebellions became constants with time and would later lead to the defeat of the Spanish government. The first uprising was at Jobabo mines. The enslaved people later joined forces with the Taino groups when they escaped to the mountains and formed the famous Palenques settlements. The Discovery of numerous precious metals in Mexico and South America lead to the decline of sugar plantations.
Therefore, the enslaved Africans were moved to Havana, the capital of Cuba, to perform urban activities. These activities included loading and offloading ships, construction, shopkeeping, and domestics. This group was the primary basis of the Afro-Cubans. Britain made reasonable efforts to prohibit the transatlantic slave trade between 1810 and 1870. These efforts were finally successful, as the last slave ship arrived in Havana in 1867. many Spanish missionaries tried to convert enslaved people to catholicism during this time. Although many enslaved people converted, they continued to practice their rituals for spiritual guidance and strength at the plantations. The Spanish government allowed ethnic organizations, which were known as cabildos, under the spiritual guidance of Babalawo. Cuban Afrocubanismo, the rediscovery of the Afro-Cuban culture and music by poets and musicians, has been the most suitable source of national expression (García Yero, 2022). The Afro-Cuban religion, such as the Santeria, has the praise of the ability to thrive underground and has been assimilated into the catholic faith. However, the Afro-Cubans remain disadvantaged due to poor political and commerce representation. Though struggling, Afro-Cubans have established a significant presence in music and teaching.
Description of Cuba
Cuba is described as the most beautiful island in the Caribbean Sea, rich in diversity, history, and economic development. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean Sea and joins its neighbours to form the Greater Antilles. It is a long and narrow island and stretches 60 miles in width in most places. A third of the island comprises high mountains and hills, while the other two-thirds constitute lowlands mainly used for farming. Cuba is full of cultural diversity. The 2012 census results show that Cuba has four main ethnic groups, including Afro-Cubans, White Cubans, and Mestizo/Mulatto. Among these groups, 60% are European, 24% are natives, and 16% are Africans (Destremau, 2018). The introduction of communism in Cuba in 1959 had negative and positive impacts on all the inhabitants in critical areas such as education, economy, and politics. Cuba’s history is rooted in all its aspects, especially music. Music is enjoyed all year round, with bands playing everywhere in Havana. The main musical form is Son, while their favourite sport is Baseball.
Like any other country, Cuba has a rich history and fought for independence. Christopher Columbus first discovered Cuba in 1511. During the Paleolithic age, many nomadic inhabitants inhabited the island. The original inhabitants were Ciboney and the Guanahatabey People. Years later, Taino people from Venezuela took possession of the island. In 1620, the Spanish established their first settlement at Baracoa after defeating the Tainos. The Spanish would later introduce and supervise the slave trade to work on their sugar plantations. In 1898, Americans drove the Spanish government out, and in 1902, Cuba won independence. In 1959, Fidel Castro took over the leadership and introduced communism. Cuba is a socialite state run by only one communal party. The citizens have their voting rights. Fidel Castro was the president until 2008 when he stepped down due to an illness, and his brother Raul took over the leadership. Cuba is endorsed with many habitats. It has thick mountain forests, a few deserts, and jungles. It is home to the world’s smallest, most famous bee hummingbird, the smallest bird, and frog (Navarro-Martínez et al., 2020).
Title 42 and its Specific goal
Title 42 is a legislative policy to address a public health issue and significantly reduce the spread of communicable diseases. The policy grants the US government the right to take any necessary measure to protect its citizens from risks, especially those brought by immigrants. Although the policy has always existed, it was widely in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic under the reign of then-President Donald Trump (Beckett et al., 2022). Trump explained that the policy was intended to enforce more safety measures at the border to prevent more harm from penetrating the USA. However, the Trump administration used the policy to consciously override the immigration law that allowed the US to offer shelter to illegal asylum seekers. Trump administration argued that it was justified to order people to return to where they had come from as they posed a danger of the additional spread of the Covid-19 virus. President Joe Biden had promised to revoke the order after his election but recently announced the continuation of the order after his first visit to the Southern border as president.
One of the specific goals of Title 42 was to regulate and control the spread of the corona pandemic. The pandemic had affected the whole world, and every country was taking every measure to ensure the protection of its citizens. One visitor to the country with the virus could end up affecting and possibly causing the death of many, so precautions were necessary. Additionally, the pandemic caused much tension resulting in the making of rush decisions. When the Covid pandemic hit the world in 2020, America’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invoked Title 42, which allowed patrol officers to send any immigrants to areas of last seen, mostly Mexico (Beckett et al., 2022). Since the order, more than 2 million people have been expelled (PBS NewsHour, 2023). However, America is considered a haven to many, and only desperate and needy people would risk their lives to seek asylum. The Biden administration should put in refuge to provide shelter to the needy, especially with the end of the Covid-19 threat.
Afro-Cuban Experiences in the USA
The Afro-Cuban experiences after migrating to the USA have revolved around racism, segregation, and discrimination. Interviews from the Miami Times reveal that Afro-Cuban experiences in the USA are similar to those of African-Americans (Gosin, 2017). The issue of skin colour difference has been pointed to raise numerous chaos. The Blacks are framed as an economic threat accused of stealing the White people’s jobs and money. The Afro-Cubans are said to not belong despite living in the US for many decades. The issue of white supremacy is central to the racism discussion. White people are taken to be more critical than their Black fellows. They are considered to take better jobs and necessities than Blacks automatically. The rate at which White people are arrested and jailed for a crime is substantially low compared to the Black community. The Black community, including the Afro-Cuban, are often mistakenly arrested because they are automatically taken to fit the description. Their rights are overlooked most of the time.
Another experience is segregation based on factors such as morality and native versus foreigner classification (Gosin, 2017). On the issue of morality, there is a discussion of good and bad citizens. On the simple basis of skin colour, a Black person is considered harmful, capable of committing crimes and making the wrong choices every time. It is automatically assumed that a white person is better than a black person. Regarding foreigners versus natives, blacks are assumed not to belong. All the good restaurants and resources are reserved for the white people because they are initially from the land. Therefore, the black community is left to live alone together in their corner on the assumption that they belong together. White people are assumed to be more potent than black people in all aspects, including economics, thinking, and action. No matter the location or the period, they are considered to have more privileges. This aspect of segregation points to unfairness.
Arbitrary Boundaries Created in Title 42
One of the arbitrary boundaries created is the immediate expulsion of asylum seekers. The then-ruling administration agreed that the order was enforced at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic since the pandemic was a severe threat (Crosson, 2023). However, the world has been able to overcome the threat, and it has been agreed that there is safety for people to return to their everyday lives. According to the Biden administration, it is unfair that all the other parts of the country have been open to regular operation. However, the borders are still closed to asylum seekers. Thus, Biden promised that upon taking over the government, he would abolish Title 42, which allows the automatic expulsion of asylum seekers. However, some Democrats led by Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona are fighting to uphold the restriction. These democrats argue that America has immigration issues that need to be handled first and that they are not ready to refuge any more refugees.
The second arbitrary boundary created is the violation of individual rights when the US government treats asylum seekers as threats based on their nationality. Under Title 42, no immigrant, whether children or needy adults, can cross the border (Jabbari et al., 2021). Anyone not from America was considered a carrier of the Covid-19virus and thus a threat. They were not even given a chance to express themselves or undergo treatment. Every individual has the right to express themselves. For these individuals to leave their homes to go to a foreign country to seek refuge, they must have a concrete reason to do so. Although there was an intense situation in the country then, the border patrol officers must listen to the asylum seekers’ cries. The officers added desperation to the already hopeless needy people. The US government has started to allow children travelling alone to enter America. This action may cause the separation of families when the adults may let their children enter America alone in search of safety.
Ways Arbitrary Boundaries Will Hinder Afro-Cubans Integration in the USA
The arbitrary boundaries resulting from Title 42 will have numerous adverse effects on the Afro-Cubans. First, the immediate expulsion denies the asylum seekers an opportunity to express themselves to the border patrol officers. This rule allows the patrol borders to send any asylum seeker away regardless of their gender, the timing, or the situation. Also, the patrol officers do not talk to the asylum seekers to identify whether or not they have probable cause to seek help. When these people are sent back to wherever they came from, they return to the same problem they were running away from. This situation is direct torture. If the person was running away from a threat to their lives, their adversaries might kill them. Also, many people seek refuge in the US because they believe they will be saved, have food, and chase their dreams, such as better education. Sending away such a person destroys their hope for the future.
The arbitrary boundary of human rights violations diminishes the Afro-Cubans’ self-worth. When the Afro -Cubans’ rights are violated, they may develop self-confidence issues which may negatively affect their physical and mental health (Jabbari et al., 2021). Violating one’s rights can cause the person to question their value. They may start considering themselves lesser human beings because when they were down, nobody lifted them. They may also lose trust in people, and this may adversely affect their future relationships with people. When somebody moves to a new location, they need to learn those people’s language and way of life for easier interaction. A person whose rights have been violated may find this new development challenging and fail to adopt it. Also, they may be demotivated to warm up to these new people due to the unwelcoming gesture they received.
Description of How Arbitrary Create Negative A Perception of the Afro-Cubans
The boundaries can quickly help create a negative perspective of the Afro-Cuban, make other people see them differently, and change how they view themselves (Berry et al., 2021). The immediate expulsion policy has made people view the immigrants and the Afro-Cubans as a burden to their economy. The Democrats, led by Arizona senator Mark Kelly, have filed a lawsuit in court demanding the continuation of Title 42. According to these democrats, the US government faces an immigration issue and cannot accommodate more refugees. They consider the refugees a burden whose only aim is to use up the US government’s resources. America’s government is a prosperous economy and a superpower. It must aid these less fortunate asylum seekers who consider them a haven. When the leaders portray a negative image of the refugees, it is convenient for the rest of the citizens to follow suit. These Democrats also portray asylum seekers as a threat and may cause others to fear and hate them unintentionally.
Violation of human rights can easily promote racism, discrimination, and violence (Berry et al., 2021). For a long time, white supremacy has been in existence. White people are constantly exposed to better social and political services. When authorities openly maltreat the Black community and the less fortunate, it promotes discrimination. Citizens practising discrimination are worse because they do not have any rules governing them. In the place of work, an Afro- Cuban may be given more work at a lower wage than their white peers. They may also be exposed to poor working conditions due to their poor background. The Afro-Cuban are also exposed to poor housing due to a lack of money to afford a better house. This poor lifestyle degrades their worth. They are also given poor healthcare services due to the inability to cater to typically expensive insurance. They also lack proper political representation and thus cannot represent their interest or policies to improve their lives.
Practical Solutions to Deal with Arbitrary Boundaries and Perception
One of the Solutions to deal with immediate expulsion would be to lift Title 42. Before the execution of Title 42, Title 8 was the order in operation (Mpalirwa et al., 2020). Two groups are currently fighting over the decision to lift or leave Title 42. One side comprises the Biden administration and the group representing the immigrants. This group argues that since Covid-19 is no longer a threat, the ban should be lifted and that Title 8 should be adopted and used to decide the fate of the asylum seekers. Title 8 is lenient and contains solid rules and regulations used to determine which asylum seekers are genuine and need US assistance. The group representing the asylum seekers argues that some people are needy and that their cases should be heard and considered seriously. The group insists that there is already widespread distribution of vaccines keeping citizens safe, and Title 42 should not be held against needy people. The Democrats argue that lifting Title 42 would lead to a surge of asylum seekers beyond their limits. The lawsuit is already in the supreme court.
To deal with the arbitrary boundary of human rights violations, citizens understand that everyone is equal and should be treated respectfully (Mpalirwa et al., 2020). Sometimes people put too much weight on skin colour and forget that we should be under that skin; we are all the same. Everybody can help everybody in one way or another. Living in harmony is more beneficial than spreading hate and constant fear that the neighbour can attack. War among neighbours and communities is expensive and destroys our lives. Leaders should also spearhead the fight against racial discrimination and set an excellent example for other citizens. People should stop judging each other based on poverty. Nobody likes poverty, and with extra effort and job availability, anyone can work hard, earn money and improve their general lifestyle.
In conclusion, immigrants face many challenges in seeking refuge from the bitter past. The Afro-Cuban, just like other immigrants, faced many challenges in their quest for a safer life. They were first taken hostage during the reign of the slave trade, transported to a faraway land and forced to work under harsh conditions. They had to will much strength for survival. However, through association and unity, they formed faith groups which motivated them to keep the faith and continue living. After an eventual struggle through war, they managed to defeat their oppressors and gain freedom. Although they finally settled in a foreign country, Cuba, they still struggle with modern-day colonialism. Like other immigrants, they have been adversely affected by Title 42, that prohibits them from seeking asylum in America.
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