Ignore the hype: Latin American immigration is (still) the city’s greatest strength.
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When the venture capitalist Delian Asparouhov suggested on Twitter last December that the tech industry should migrate from Silicon Valley to Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez (R) responded, “How can I help?” He also set up a billboard in San Francisco.
“Thinking of moving to Miami?,” it read. “DM me.”
Suarez’s bold, roll-out-the-red-carpet approach to luring away Silicon Valley’s tech elite has gotten so much attention, in part, because of how it contrasts with that of California’s ultra-left political class. Take San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D), who’s best known for her failed effort to stop Uber and Lyft from using contract labor in California to benefit labor unions. Gonzalez tweeted “Fuck Elon Musk” back in May of 2020.
“Message Received,” replied Musk. In Miami, on the other hand, Mayor Suarez has embraced Musk’s idea of building a $30 million tunnel for electric vehicles to ease congestion.
Suarez’s publicity stunts, including fashioning himself an avid bitcoin enthusiast, have no doubt contributed to the city’s momentum. He wants to turn Miami into a “confluence of capital,” as he told Reason.
“We have the entire financial sector from New York,” Suarez said. “We’re going to see is a confluence of capital from New York and from Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco. That confluence of capital, we’ve never seen merge anywhere in the history of humanity.”
But billionaires buying waterfront mansions won’t shape the future of Miami. Immigration will. Latin American ex-pats don’t garner headlines or donate much to political campaigns, but they have grit and talent that was largely wasted in the socialist countries from which they fled—not to mention their cultural aversion to big government liberalism and the woke ideology now prevalent in the Bay Area.
Miami’s ascendence in the 21st Century hinges on whether it can continue to fulfill its role as the greatest city in Latin America that just happens to be located in the United States.
Written and narrated by Daniel Raisbeck; shot and edited by John Osterhoudt; opening edited by Paul Detrick; graphic design by Nathalie Walker; animation by NODEHAUS, and Isaac Reese; color correction by Regan Taylor; additional audio production by Ian Keyser.
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