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Immigration Under The Biden Administration, Cuban-American Artist Honored With USPS Forever Stamp

EmilioSanchez_012621.jpg
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. Gift of the Emilio Sanchez Foundation.
Untitled "Ventanita entreabierta" or “Window Ajar” is one of Emilio Sanchez's paintings of windows and doors, produced from memory between 1960 and 1999.

How will immigration look under the Biden administration? And the U.S. Postal Service pays tribute to an iconic Cuban-American artist — we’ll learn about Emilio Sanchez.

On this Tuesday, Jan. 26 episode of Sundial:

Immigration Under The Biden Administration

With a new presidential administration, comes a new approach to immigration.

President Biden has already issued an executive order calling for the Secretary of Homeland Security to “preserve and fortify” Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA). He’s gone further and urged Congress to allow other immigrants living illegally in the U.S. to become candidates for residency in five years and for citizenship in eight.

How much immigration reform will be possible? Sundial spoke with Tim Padgett, WLRN Americas Correspondent and Vilma Petrash, a professor of American government at Miami Dade College.

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“I think he can accomplish perhaps more than [President] Obama did on the immigration front, but it's going to still be tough. He's only got 50 senators there, plus Kamala Harris. And on a lot of these measures, it's going to take 60 senators to get things passed. We haven't seen a comprehensive immigration reform proposal since 1986, when President Reagan offered his amnesty to that cohort of undocumented people,” Padgett said.

President Biden certainly has his work cut out for him — from DACA to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and U.S. relations with Latin American countries.

“I would want a more coherent policy on immigration because the truth is, in the Obama administration, immigration wasn't a priority — although they had the resources to do that. And then we have the Trump administration, that actually was so much anti-immigrant that caused a lot of damage,” Petrash said.

Immigration Under The Biden Administration
Former Vice President Biden in 2016.

Cuban-American Artist Honored With USPS Forever Stamp

The U.S Postal Service is featuring a Cuban American visual artist for the first time, in a new series of forever stamps.

Emilio Sanchez is best known for his architectural paintings — numerous works that highlight both his Cuban heritage and his life in New York City.

“I often say he found me. I was doing research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I said, ‘Well, let's see what they have on Cuba.’ The first thing that came up was this pencil drawing of a rural shack on the island. It struck me," said Dr. Victor Deupi, a lecturer at the University of Miami school of architecture. "And I asked myself, 'Who is this?' and it's Emilio Sanchez and I never heard of him, but what really struck me was that it was 1959 and Castro was already in power. Here was an artist in 1959 touring the rural countryside of Cuba and producing drawings of the rustic buildings."

Deupi searched deeper than that and found that Emilio had given The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York 250 works in the 1960s of Cuba and the Caribbean. None of it had ever been cataloged.

“The project was just perfect. It just fell into my lap, it was just a blessing," Deupi said.

He’s studied Sanchez’s life and work-and recently published a book about him, titled "Emilio Sanchez in New York and Latin America."

“I think that the USPS is really doing a great service to our country by bringing to light these immigrant artists that deserve much greater attention than they've been given. The fact that this was the first Cuban-American visual artist speaks a great deal to the excellence of his work and the art. He was such a dedicated artist,” Deupi said.

Cuban-American Artist Honored With USPS Forever Stamp
EmilioSanchez001_012621.jpg

Suria is Sundial's fall 2020 high school intern and a production assistant.
Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.