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The influx of lower class émigrés during the 1980 Mariel Boatlift complicates the “success story” image of previous waves of Cuban exiles to the United States. Examination of Mariel exiles in terms of racial variation in adaptation does not exist; nor is analysis of the geographic distribution and internal migration of Mariel Cubans within the United States represented. Mariel exiles maneuver along distinguishable paths of adaptation as evidenced by patterns of settlement and geographical mobility. I argue that place is a necessary ingredient in illuminating diverse adjustment experiences among immigrants and refugees in the United States.