Ponce Inlet in Volusia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Cuban Refugee Rafts
Between 1966 and 1995, anyone who fled Cuba and reached the United States was allowed to pursue residency one year after their arrival. Many Cubans left the island in small boats and rafts, hoping to reach international waters where they might be picked up and brought the rest of the way to freedom. The small size of the 1989 and 1994 rafts on display here suggests the occupants’ hope that they would not have to travel the entire distance to the United States shores in such tiny and fragile vessels.
A 1995 revision of the Cuban Adjustment Act changed the policy. The United States would no longer admit Cuban refugees found at sea but would admit – and allow to qualify for permanent resident status - any refugee who was able to get onto shore or arrive here via a dry land route such as through Mexico. Refugees intercepted at sea would be returned by the Coast Guard to their place of origin. With this change, the construction of many refugee rafts became more substantial in anticipation of crossing the approximately 90 miles of open water between Cuba and Florida.
Our display of refugee rafts continues to change as
Erected by Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil Rights • Hispanic Americans • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 29° 4.872′ N, 80° 55.683′ W. Marker is in Ponce Inlet, Florida, in Volusia County. Marker can be reached from South Peninsula Drive, 0.2 miles south of Ocean Way Drive, on the left when traveling south. The marker is on the grounds of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4931 S Peninsula Dr, Port Orange FL 32127, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cuban Rafts (a few steps from this marker); Mosquito Inlet (within shouting distance of this marker); Kitchen Gardens (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Assistant Keeper's Dwelling (within shouting distance of this marker); The Principal Keeper's Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Principal Keeper's Dwelling (within shouting distance of this marker); Gladys Meyer Davis Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Kedge Anchor (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ponce Inlet.
Also see . . . Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum(Submitted on January 16, 2018.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 12, 2018, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 226 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 12, 2018, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.