Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jacob I. Stowell
The Scarface myth refers to a set of beliefs about the violent and crime-prone nature of a specific group of Cuban immigrants, known as Marielitos. The myth gets its name from the character of Scarface, portrayed by Al Pacino in the 1983 film of that name directed by Brian De Palma. Although the Scarface myth emerged nearly 25 years ago, it remains a relevant topic for criminologists because as national rates of immigration have increased, a similar set of beliefs has been applied to foreign-born groups more generally. Approximately 125,000 Marielitos relocated to the United States from Cuba during a period of relaxed immigration standards authorized by the Cuban government in the early 1980s. They were called Marielitos because the port of origin for most of their boats was Mariel, in northern Cuba. The fact that a portion of the arriving immigrants were involved in the criminal justice and/or mental ...