Puerto Rican and Cuban Migration

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the U.S. took over the island of Puerto Rico, making it an unincorporated territory A piece of land owned by the United States that is not a state but is administered by an appointed or elected governor and elected legislature.

Island Rights and Citizenship

The Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 granted U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans, but it was only statutory citizenship type of citizenship with limited rights relative to natural-born or naturalized citizens due to the terms of the Act. Basic civil rights found in the Constitution were promised to all citizens, such as the right to due process, which ensures fair treatment by the legal system. The right to a jury trial was not included, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, nor was the right to vote.

Other dominant Latinx populations in the U.S. include Cuban exiles who first migrated after the Cuban Revolution - led by Fidel Castro and Ché Guevara - ousted dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. A second wave of Cuban immigration took place between 1965 and the early 1970s. Most Cubans settled in Florida and New York City. Cuban Americans that want to become citizens of the U.S. follow a more traditional path than Puerto Ricans.