The Cuban community in Albuquerque, New Mexico; police attitudes towards members of this community (2000-2005) [USA100435.E]

Information about the Cuban community in Albuquerque was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

The Website of the Albuquerque Arts Alliance provides the following undated information about that city's Cuban community:

The 1980's saw a vastly different type of Cuban immigrant coming to both the US and Albuquerque. This was the infamous Mariel Boatlift, when Castro emptied Cuba's prisons of both political and criminal prisoners and allowed them to emigrate in small boats. Many of these refugees were hardened and organized criminals who wreaked havoc across the US, Albuquerque included.
In 1995 there was yet another wave of Cubans into the US. The Santa Fe Archdiocese of the Catholic Church relocated many of these new refugees in the Albuquerque through their Catholic Charities Immigration Project. While many of these immigrants were typical upstanding citizens seeking to create a new life for themselves, as with the Mariel Boatlift, others were known gangsters and criminals in Cuba. As with other cities across the nation, Albuquerque's law enforcement officials were strapped to deal with this new influx, but they managed to control the situation to a large degree. It is estimated that approximately 3,500 of these latest refugees have been successfully relocated to the Albuquerque area (n.d.).

In a November 2003 article that appeared on the LatinoLA Website, a writer who grew up in Albuquerque also mentioned that there were about "3 or 4,000 Cubans" in that city (12 Nov. 2003).

While information about police attitudes towards members of the Cuban community could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate, the Website of the City of Albuquerque Human Rights Office reported that in March 2004, "Mayor Martin Chavez had appointed an 18-member Racial Profiling Task Force" to examine whether this phenomenon "exists within the city government's law enforcement agencies" (n.d.). The taskforce would also measure the public's awareness on "biased-based policing" by holding a number of public forums in which the city's "diverse racial and ethnic populations" in particular will be encouraged to participate (City of Albuquerque n.d.). According to the City of Albuquerque Website, the taskforce was to prepare a final report outlining "findings and recommendations" to be presented to the Mayor at an unspecified date (ibid.).

In a 10 August 2005 telephone interview, an Albuquerque city official noted that the final report was still being drafted, and could not provide an exact date when it would be released. In 29 July 2005 correspondence, the same Human Rights Office mentioned that it could not provide information about police attitudes towards members of the Cuban community.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Albuquerque Arts Alliance. N.d. "The Cuban Community in Albuquerque." [Accessed 25 July 2005]

City of Albuquerque. 10 August 2005. Human Rights Office. Telephone interview with an official.

_____. 29 July 2005. Human Rights Office. Correspondence from an official.

_____. N.d. Human Rights Office. "Albuquerque Racial Profiling Task Force." [Accessed 10 August 2005]

LatinoLA. 12 November 2003. Jose Mayorquin. "The Dirt on a Latina Bestseller." [Accessed 25 July 2005]

Additional Sources Consulted

The Albuquerque Human Rights Office could not provide the requested information.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico could not provide the requested information.

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty could not provide the requested information.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International, City of Albuquerque, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch.