The migration of Cubans and Dominicans to the United States accelerates sharply with increasing political and economic turmoil in their respective homelands. In the Dominican Republic, opposition to the brutal regime of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo reaches a fever pitch in the late 1950s, and he is assassinated in 1961. In Cuba, the rebel forces of Fidel Castro seize power in 1959, ousting the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
The Cuban immigrants, leaving their homeland for political reasons, are mainly professionals from the middle and upper classes of the island. Many settle in Miami, making it a magnet for future Cuban and Latin American immigrants. Similarly, the Dominican immigrants tend to be better educated, and employed in better jobs, than those they leave behind.