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Background History

Cape Verdean immigration flows to the US date back to the 17th century, with the prosperous whaling industry. With the decline of this activity, Cape Verdeans continue to immigrate to the US in sailing vessels and packets ships, escaping the country’s economic and environmental hardships.

The mills of New Bedford, the loading docks of Providence, and the cranberry bogs of Cape Cod offered them new opportunities for their subsistence, income generation and support to family members that stayed in the islands.

In the meantime, the migratory movement was significantly impacted by new stricter immigration laws adopted in the early 1920’s that excluded Asians and Africans and preferred Northern and Western Europeans over Southern and Eastern ones. The shift would only come with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which was heavily supported by late Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Today, the vast and very active Capeverdean-American Community, the largest CV Diaspora in the world, is proud to belong to two nations, Cape Verde and the US, that share common values and work collaboratively for democracy, human rights and global progress and peace.

The community has been also very instrumental in preserving, promoting and strengthening the Cape Verdean Culture, in particular the Creole language and music.

For their part, Cape Verde and the US are very appreciative of the community’s contribution to their development and progress and for the great values it has produced in many fields of human activity. They are committed to promoting new opportunities to leverage its further involvement in their cooperation.

Members of the Cape Verdean-American Community are organized in different organizations and a US based federation of Cape Verdean associations is in the making.

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