The first family we will visit is from Cuba. The father (37), mother (39) and two children (17 and 13) have been here for two months. They are joining family that arrived a few months earlier. This family was forced to flee Cuba for political reasons. The family brought food and money to political prisoners in Cuba. After the father was beaten and the family was threatened in 2006, they applied for asylum here in the USA. It took seven years until they were able to flee. They were able to come directly to Phoenix, and now the whole family lives in the same apartment complex. The mother and father have both already found jobs, and the children are in school.
The next family we will visit, a husband (57) and wife (53), are also from Cuba. The husband was a primary school geography teacher. He also did some work in security. The wife was a secretary. They met at the beach in Cuba, and have been married for thirty-four years. They fled Cuba after the wife was falsely arrested and detained in jail without cause for three months. They had to leave their home and their family behind in Cuba. They are fortunate to have found a very supportive community of Cuban ex-patriots in Phoenix. They are enjoying their apartment and the tranquility of their new neighborhood.
The last home we will visit is shared by two young men (ages 31 and 27). These men are both from Cuba, and they did not know each other until the arrived in the USA. The first man is a dentist. When he was living in Cuba, he went on a medical mission to Venezuela. He left the mission and went to the US Embassy in Venezuela to seek asylum. Cubans who arrive in the USA from Venezuela are subject to deportation so he was counseled to go to Colombia. He took a bus to Colombia, where he was granted asylum by the United States. He flew directly to Phoenix and he has been here since September. He does not have family here, but he does have some friends. He hopes to take some tests to get certified to practice dentistry in the USA.
The second man is a metal construction worker. He went to Spain to extend his studies. He had always planned to escape to the United States. He flew from Spain to Mexico, and then made his way to the border. According to US law, all Cuban refugees who seek political asylum at the border are granted entrance. He left a three-year old son in Cuba whom he wants to bring to the USA. He is looking for work, and he hopes that he will find employment soon. He also hopes to have his own home so he can apply to have his son join him in Arizona.