New Visiting Scholar from Mexico

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The Cuban Research Institute is pleased to welcome Karla Elizabeth Rueda Vergara, from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, as a Visiting Scholar between October 10 and November 29, 2014. Ms. Rueda Vergara will conduct research for her undergraduate thesis on "Cuban Migration and Cuban-American Lobbying in the United States during Electoral Periods (1981–2014)." The purpose of her thesis is to analyze U.S. immigration policies toward Cubans as a consequence of lobbying by the Cuban-American community.

The project's main hypothesis is that electoral periods, especially in the case of reelection campaigns, present the most favorable conjuncture for Cubans and Cuban Americans to influence U.S. politics, particulary in the application of immigrant policies favorable to the Cuban-American community. This influence is partly due to the pressure exerted by Cuban residents in the United States and partly to the candidates' desire to obtain a larger number of votes for the presidency.

Ms. Rueda Vergara's research methodology will be primarily qualitative, supported by quantitative data. She will consult existing databases on Cuban-American voters, such as the FIU Cuba Poll, as well as other primary and secondary sources on various pressure groups such as the Center for a Free Cuba, the Cuba Democracy Caucus, the Cuban-American National Foundation, the Cuban Liberty Council, and the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee (PAC). She will also conduct personal interviews with elected officials and leaders of these organizations.

Karla Elizabeth Rueda Vergara is currently an undergraduate student in international relations at the University of Guadalajara. She has conducted fieldwork with the Mexican Migration Project since 2013 and has volunteered for FM4 Paso Libre, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to Mexican migrants to the United States. Between December 2013 and February 2014, she completed a professional internship with the Mexican Embasssy in Washington, D.C.