Every year in Key Biscayne, FL there is a 4th of July parade to celebrate U.S. independence and patriotism. One of this year's floats was a Cuban raft that floated up to Key Biscayne. The float represented all of the values of the holiday and was awarded a prize as the most patriotic float.
The uniqueness of the float and the symbolism for all the Cuban exiles in Miami and their friends prompted the Miami Herald to write this story. However, when you read through the comments to the story another theme emerges. Many people commented that the Cuban exiles had taken their jobs, committed many unlawful acts and lived off government donations that diverted taxes from funding better education and other social programs.
Setting aside that the English of many of the commenters shows uneducated writers, what concerns me the most is the linkage between immigrants and joblessness. The commenters believe that the Cubans took their jobs. As jobs increasingly become difficult to find for many reasons, I expect that the linkage between unemployment and immigrants will become more common and frequent. I think that this issue will become a central theme in the social and political dialogue with all the negative and harmful consequences of other forms of discrimination.
In a country where almost every family was at one time immigrants, I think we are about to see recent immigration become a new form of discrimination. While many Mexican Americans, for example, might point out that this has always been the case, my real point is to highlight that I think the issue is going to dramatically escalate.
Related post: Planet Money on the origin of immigrants over the last 100 years