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May 27, 2024

Protecting the 305: The fight for cultural diversity in Miami

Protecting the 305: The fight for cultural diversity in Miami
Sophia Barrera

Under the hot Florida sun, many cultures have blended into one unified identity: Miamians. Encapsulating the wildlife of the Everglades and the nightlife of Ocean Drive, Miami is rich in its diversity.

Growing up in this city my entire life, I have had the privilege of experiencing its blend of culture. I have drunk too many cafecitos, listened to hours of reggaeton, and adapted my Mexican Spanish to Cuban slang. 

These traits that make Miami so distinct began the 18th century, as immigrants became the center of Miami life. A large Cuban population quickly developed as exiles from Fidel Castro’s socialist government began to arrive on the shores of Miami. In the years that followed, Colombian and Venezuelan immigrants began to trickle into Miami in search of economic opportunity. Now, immigrants from across South America call South Florida home.

But today, Miami’s cultural identity is at risk as Florida’s state government takes dramatic actions to prevent Latin American immigration across its borders. Governor Ron De Santis signed legislation earlier this year to deter immigrants from settling in Miami. This has effectively shut the door on immigrants.

This new legislation does not reflect an aversion to immigration as a whole, but only to a certain kind of immigrant. In the past decade, a new culture has entered the Miami mix: New Yorkers. During the height of the pandemic, Miami saw a 55.2% increase in move rates into the county. Additionally, Apple signed one of the biggest Miami commercial leases this year, with the intention to move its tech empire to South Florida. These higher income immigrants face little to no pushback from this new legislation. De Santis seems to only be welcoming wealthy immigrants with a traditional Miamian hug and kiss.

What local government officials need to recognize is that the values of a great city go beyond financial gain but lie within the people that created it. Rather than implementing barriers to immigration, legislatures must uplift immigrants by introducing legal support services to facilitate the documentation process while still maintaining Miami’s cultural diversity. 

My memories of Miami are full of vibrant colors and tequeños. Not materialism that muffles the voices of the individuals that built this city. Cultural identity is at stake, and once it is gone, we will never get it back. No amount of money could ever revive our home.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Barrera
Sofia Barrera, Opinion Editor
Sofia Barrera is the Opinion Editor for The Beat and was formerly a staff writer for two years. Covering Carrollton policy debate and global opinion topics, Sofia is passionate about promoting student journalism in an educational atmosphere. She was awarded an honorable mention last year at the Journalism Education Association Convention in San Francisco, California. Apart from journalism, Sofia is also the shadow president of Model UN, a business manager for the Solar Car Racing Team, and an alto in the school choir.

Comments (9)

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  • B

    Bridgeen O'ConnellMay 15, 2024 at 8:22 pm

    Great article. I must share this with my Immigration class. Thank you.

  • L

    Lorenia CanavatiMay 15, 2024 at 6:55 pm

    Bravo Sofía ❤️

  • D

    Daniela de LopeMay 15, 2024 at 6:42 pm

    Congratulations Sofia! Very interesting article, I agree!

  • 2

    2W2W2W2W2W2222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222May 15, 2024 at 11:01 am

    Bravo Sofia!
    Well said. This planet needs more compassionate people like you.
    Congratulations, cheers with un cafecito!

  • N

    Natalie AstigarragaMay 15, 2024 at 10:43 am

    Sofia, you have adeptly captured the rich cultural history and influence of this beautiful city. Thank you for sharing!

  • M

    Mary Ann BakerMay 15, 2024 at 10:04 am

    Stellar, Sofia! Thank you.

  • M

    Michele PattersonMay 6, 2024 at 9:31 am

    Excellent article!

  • R

    Ricardo BarreraApr 30, 2024 at 9:49 am

    Excellent Sofía
    Always on the spot with very good and actual themes

  • D

    Daniella RoosApr 29, 2024 at 4:58 pm

    So well said.