Cuban Refugee Program The U.S. Cuban Refugee Program was phased out gradually by the terms of the Refugee Act of 1980 that merged it with other refugee initiatives.  Over the course of 20 years, the Program assisted over half a million exiles as they adjusted to their new lives in the United States. 

In more recent decades, new waves of Cuban refugees have continued to arrive in South Florida, most notably through the 1980 Mariel Boatlift and the Rafter Crisis of 1994.  Like the Cuban refugees of the 1960s and 1970s, these more recent arrivals have also contributed to the economic and cultural life of the United States, particularly in South Florida.