On the 14th anniversary of his rescue, Elian Gonzalez reveals that he isn’t thrilled about his time spent in the United States.

According to Fox News Latino, the former Cuban refugee — who, more than a decade ago, was  the focal point of the the immigration debate at seven years old  – said that his time in the United States “marked” him for life.

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“They were very sad times for me, which marked me for my whole life. I was never given the chance to have a moment to think about my mother, who as a result of that (U.S.) Cuban Adjustment Act died at sea,” the now-19-year-old Gonzalez said recently during a Union of Young Communists event. “I suffered the consequences of that law. They also violated my basic rights gathered in the (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child: the right to be together with my father, the right to keep my nationality and to remain in my cultural context.”

Elian’s statements provoke an interesting thought: is there really a difference between immigration and assimilation? Are the two inextricably tied together? Weigh in below in the comments.

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