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SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION, REFUGEES,
AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
i"' HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MAY 13, JUNE 4, 17, 1980
Serial No. 84
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1980
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
PETER W. RODINO, JR., New Jersey, Chairman
JACK BROOKS, Texas
ROBERT W. KASTENMEIER, Wisconsin
DON EDWARDS, California
JOHN CONYERS, JR., Michigan
JOHN F. SEIBERLING, Ohio
GEORGE E. DANIELSON, California
ROBERT F. DRINAN, Massachusetts
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN, New York
ROMANO L. MAZZOLI, Kentucky
WILLIAM J. HUGHES, New Jersey
SAM B. HALL, JR., Texas
LAMAR GUDGER, North Carolina
HAROLD L. VOLKMER, Missouri
HERBERT E. HARRIS II, Virginia
MIKE SYNAR, Oklahoma
MICHAEL D. BARNES, Maryland
DAN GLICKMAN, Kansas
BOB CARR, Michigan
BILLY LEE EVANS, Georgia
ROBERT McCLORY, Illinois
TOM RAILSBACK, Illinois
HAMILTON FISH, JR., New York
M. CALDWELL BUTLER, Virginia
CARLOS J. MOORHEAD, California
JOHN M. ASHBROOK, Ohio
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
THOMAS N. KINDNESS, Ohio
HAROLD S. SAWYER, Michigan
DAN LUNGREN, California
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jn.,
JOSEPH L. NELLIS, General Counsel
GARNER J. CLINE, Staff Director
FRANKLIN G. POLE, Associate Counsel
SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION, REFUGEES, AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN, New York, Chairwoman
GEORGE E. DANIELSON, California HAMILTON FISH, Jn., New York
SAM B. HALL, JR., Texas M. CALDWELL BUTLER, Virginia
MICHAEL D. BARNES, Maryland DAN LUNGREN, California
BOB CARR, Michigan
BILLY LEE EVANS, Georgia
GARNER J. CLINE, Counsel
ARTHun P. ENDRES, Jr., Counsel
JAMES J. SCHWEITZER, Counsel
ALEXANDER B. COOK, Associate Counsel
HEARINGS HELD ON
May 13, 1980 ------------------------------------------------ 1
June 4, 1980 ------------------------------------------------------ 71
June 17, 1980 ----------------------------------------------------- 137
Bushnell, John A., Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Inter-
America Affairs ------------------------------------------------- 196
Prepared statement ------------------------------------------- 220
Chisholm, Hon. Shirley, Congressional Black Caucus, Representative in
Congress from the State of New York ------------------------------ 139
Prepared statement -------------------------------------------- 148
Costello, John D., Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard ------------------- 74
Crosland, David, Acting Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization
Service, U.S. Department of Justice --------------------------- 24, 74, 199
Prepared statement ----------------------------------- -- 81, 199
Dominguez, Dr. Virginia, Department of Anthropology, Duke University. 122, 181
Prepared statement ----------------------------------- 130, 193
Fischer, Dr. Robert D., Associate Director of the Office of International
Health, Public Health Service------------------------------------- 74
Prepared statement ------------------------------------------- 84
Leiva-Rivero, Juan Carlos, accompanied by Louis Finkley of the U.S.
Immigration Service and Spanish translator Bert Moreno of the U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Service ---------------------------- 64
Loy, Frank, Deputy Coordinator for Refugee Affairs ------------------- 24
McCoy, Dr. Terry L., associate director of the Center for Latin American
Studies, University of Florida ------------------------------------- 122
Prepared statement -------------------------------------------- 134
Macy, John, Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency --------- 24, 74
Palmer, Stephen E., Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of
Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, accompanied by David A.
Martin, special assistant ----------------------------------------- 196
Prepared statement -------------------------------------------- 207
Palmieri, Victor, U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs ..---------.. 24, 74, 196
Prepared statement-------------------------------------------31, 77
Parrot, David, agent for the Dr. Daniels --...-----. ---------------------- 6
Prepared statement --------------------------------------------........ 22
Renfrew, Charles, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice- 24
Prepared statement---__----------------------------------------- 28
Schoeller, Paul, owner-representative of the Dr. Daniels ....---------------- 6
Suresca, Leovigilda, captain of the Dr. Daniels...--------------...----------- 6
Unidentified hooded witness----------------------------------------.....64
West, Togo D., Jr., General Counsel, Department of Defense- ---------- 74
Crosland, David, Acting Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Parg
Service, letter dated June 2, 1980, to Hon. Elizabeth Holtzman ---- -- 42
Fauntroy, Walter E., Member of Congress, Remarks on "The U.S. Im-
pact on Haiti and the Haitian Refugees."---------------------------- 158
Forester, Steven, attorney, National Council of Churches, statement on
"Why Haitian Refugees Flee Haiti: Fifteen Typical Stories of Per-
secution." ----------------------------------------------------- 154
Information submitted by the State Department concerning the resettle-
ment program for Haitian entrants -------------------------------- 228
King, Colbert I., U.S. Executive Director, World Bank, Prepared state-
ment ---------------------------------------------------------....... 251
Lemoine, Patrick, article on "Living Hell in Haiti," Miami News, March
24, 1980 ------------------------------ ----------------------- 163
Macy, John W., Jr., Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency,
letter dated May 19, 1980, to Hon. Elizabeth Holtzman -------------- 60
Nicalo, Nancy L., director, immigration and refugee program of Church
World Services, statement on Haitian refugees ---------------------- 174
Posner, Michael H., executive director, the Lawyers Committee for Inter-
national Human Rights, Prepared statement ------------------------ 235
Post trial memorandum on the conditions in Haiti and the well founded
fear of Haitians upon return to Haiti, prepared by plaintiffs in Haitian
Refugee Center, et al. v. Benjamin Civiletti, et al --------------- 166
State Department study team report on Haitian returnees, June 19, 1979--__ 212
Appendix 1.-Report to the Congress regarding Cuban and Haitian
entrants, Office of the U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs, September
Appendix 2.-Interim Regulations on Refugee and Asylum Procedures,
June 2, 1980 ----------------------------------------------------267
Comments on the interim regulations by:
American Council of Voluntary Agencies for Foreign Service,
Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights ---..-------. 279
Amnesty International, U.S.A ------------------------------- 283
Appendix 3.-Estimates of Cubans and Haitians who entered the U.S.
between April 1, 1980 and October 1, 1980, Bureau of the Census,
February 4, 1981 ------------------------------------------------287
Appendix 4.-Report by Mario A. Rivera, Cuban-Haitian Task Force, on
the Cuban and Haitian influxes of 1980, November 1980 -------------- 289
Appendix 5.-Article by Robert L. Bach on "The New Cuban Immigrants:
Their Background and Prospects," Monthly Labor Review, October
TUESDAY, M1AY 13, 1980
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION,
REFUGEES AND INTERNATIONAL LAW,
OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
The subcommittee met at 1:50 p.m. in room 2141 of the Rayburn
House Office Building, Hon. Elizabeth Holtzman (chairperson of the
Present: Representatives Holtzman, Danielson, Hall, Evans, Fish,
Butler, Lungren, and McClory.
Staff present: Garner J. Cline, Arthur P. Endres, Jr., James J.
Schweitzer, counsel; Peter Regis, legislative assistant; and Alexan-
der B. Cook, associate counsel.
Today's hearing has been called to review the Cuban refugee situa-
tion in south Florida, and its implications for the rest of the Nation
and for our Government's refugee and immigration policy generally.
Our witnesses this afternoon are representatives of the administra-
tion, including Deputy Attorney General Charles Renfrew, and U.S.
Coordinator for Refugee Affairs Victor Palmieri, as well as officials
from several Federal agencies who are charged with various policy or
operational responsibilities relating to this unprecedented crisis.
Additionally, we have brought from Florida several witnesses with
direct experience in the Cuban exodus, including a boat captain who
participated in the "Freedom Flotilla," and several individuals in-
volved in arranging transportation for the first wave of those reaching
At the outset, I would like to make a few brief comments on the ad-
ministration's response thus far to the situation and to outline my own
view of a more responsible policy for our Government to follow in this
case and similar crises arising in the future. Having seen the Cuban
problem firsthand during my factfinding trip to Miami and Key West
at the end of April, I can attest to the need for decisive leadership, not
only on admissions policy but also on an issue of particular concern to
me-the fact that only a small proportion of relatives is actually being
permitted to leave Cuba and that among the nonrelatives is a criminal
So far as many of us in the Congress can ascertain, the administra-
tion actually has no policy for dealing with the current crisis; it has
merely been making operational decisions on a reactive basis without
confronting the serious long-range implications of this massive and
chaotic rush to our shores. After initially pursuing a strict enforce-
ment policy, threatening fines of boat captains and seizure of vessels
bringing Cubans into this country, the President abruptly switched
signals and declared that America would welcome all those leaving
Cuba with "open arms." This Presidential message, which has been
widely disseminated in south Florida and throughout the Caribbean
basin, could have far-reaching implications. Recent intelligence re-
ports indicate that there are approximately 2,000 more Haitians in
Nassau and 1,000 Columbians looking for transportation to Key West.
Although this administration has yet to come up with an equitable
and coordinated policy, it has had no difficulty repeatedly describing
the impossibility of the situation. It has devoted a great deal of time
to eliminating options, and little effort to finding creative solutions.
Officials insist that the flow cannot be stopped because our Government
does not have the capability to keep U.S. vessels from reaching Cuba;
they worry that stricter enforcement of our immigration laws might
drive arrivals underground away from processing points and lead to a
civil uprising in the Cuban community in the United States; they
claim that direct negotiations to regularize the flow are out of the
question because Cuba's asking price-diplomatic recognition, the
surrender of Guantanamo naval base, and the end of the trade embargo
and surveillance overflights-is too steep; and they state that deporta-
tion and/or detention are out of the question for practical reasons.
Admittedly, we are confronted with a series of difficult choices and
often unpalatable options, but our national interest demands that we
fashion not only a responsible policy to deal with the immediate crisis
involving the Cuban emigres, but also a doctrine to guide the millions
of other poor, homeless, and persecuted who wish to come to America.
Several principles must be kept in mind as we formulate an ap-
proach to this problem.
First is the extent to which we want to preserve the integrity of our
immigration policy. Our law provides for set procedures for those
wishing to enter the United States as immigrants, with special consid-
eration given to those seeking to rejoin family members in the United
States. The Refugee Act of 1980, which this Committee considered,
sets up a flexible and orderly procedure for the admission of all refu-
gees to this country. If exceptions are made to these laws in this case,
the implications could be staggering. Of most immediate concern
would be the impetus for those from other poor and repressive coun-
tries in Latin America and the Caribbean to make their way illegally
to the United States in the hopes that they too would be welcomed with
open arms. As I have already noted, this phenomenon is apparently
Second is the principle of equity with respect to determining eligi-
bility for refugee status. The Refugee Act of 1980 changed the defini-
tion of "refugee" in our law to conform to the United Nations ap-
proach and eliminated the geographical and ideological restrictions
contained in the prior law. There is now no reason why an individual
fleeing communism should any more be presumptively considered a
refugee than an alien escaping a right-wing dictatorship should be
peremptorily excluded from the definition. All must show they fear
persecution on account of "race, religion, nationality, membership in a
particular social group, or political opinion" and those who have
reached our shores should all be accorded identical rights in uniform
proceedings leading to individual adjudications. To treat Haitians in
this country any differently from the incoming Cubans would be con-
trary both to the spirit and the letter of the law.
Finally, we have an obligation and a responsibility to protect the
rights of our own citizenry. Clearly our current screening procedures
for criminals, counterintelligence agents, and those with health prob-
lems are inadequate. The Washington Post reported yesterday that a
single boat with 400 convicts and mental patients, termed the "worst
element" in Cuba by authorities who threatened to kill the captain if
he did not take them, arrived in Key West Sunday. Some 385 other
undesirables were already under detention in various facilities. Dis-
turbingly high rates of venereal disease and tuberculosis have also been
found among the arrivals.
State and local services are strained to capacity, and without an in-
fusion of Federal funds, expenditures will undoubtedly cause budget
deficits which will adversely impact the services local citizens expect
to receive. Those on the lower end of the economic spectrum have ex-
pressed serious concerns about the labor market and social service im-
pacts of the arrivals in a time of rising unemployment and deepening
In view of these conflicting goals and difficult choices, what should
we do? I propose the following five point program:
First, the administration should immediately and vigorously con-
demn Cuba for violating international law by expelling its undesirable
nationals and endangering the lives of others by refusing to allow for
an orderly and safe means :f departure.
Second, the administration should call on the Cuban-American com-
munity for a self-imposed moratorium on all boat departures for Cuba
in search of relatives.
Third, during this moratorium, the administration should initiate
direct negotiations with the Cuban Government-either on a bilateral
basis or in concert with other nations-to establish a regular and
orderly means of departure from Cuba for family members and politi-
cal prisoners and a procedure that will exclude criminals. The admin-
istration, in view of the hoped-for moratorium by the Cuban
community, should be prepared to offer promptly an airlift and/or
sealift for all those found eligible for admission.
Fourth, the administration should move expeditiously to improve
its capability to handle this crisis, including designation of a single
director to coordinate all policy and operational aspects of the program,
and to improve health and security screening procedures.
Fifth, the administration should clarify the status of those asylum
seekers now in the United States. Those who can qualify as family
reunification cases should be given preference under regular immigra-
tion law and procedures. Political prisoners and others who can
demonstrate that they meet the refugee definition in individual adjudi-
cations should be granted asylum, given benefits in accordance with
the Refugee Act of 1980, and allowed to adjust their status after 1
year. No one who does not meet the refugee definition should be
granted refugee status; individual adjudications, not class determina-
tions, should be the rule. With respect to those not eligible for family
reunification or refugee status, once a determination is made as to the
ultimate size of the flow, the administration could consider regulariz-
ing their status, including the possibility of utilizing (nonrefugee)
parole. Under such a plan, those parolees who are not found to be
refugees could remain, but with no ability to become lawful permanent
residents unless special legislation were enacted.
I feel this program, if implemented, would end the crisis nature of
the Cuban exodus, allow for orderly processing, and pave the wave
for the effective integration and resettlement of family members, politi-
cal prisoners and legitimate refugees. At the same time, it would pre-
vent circumvention of our immigration and refugee laws.
Thus far, in my view, the administration has been far less aggressive
than it should in condemning Cuba for the violations of international
law in which it is engaged. Cuba has clearly learned a valuable lesson
from Vietnam-that the wholesale unregulated, unsafe expulsion of
thousands of its nationals is a useful political weapon. This expulsion-
under extremely dangerous circumstances-calls out for condemnation,
just as the Vietnamese forced exportation of the ethnic Chinese did
Ironically, it is the Cuban community itself which is providing the
leverage for Cuba to push its unwanted countrymen into the perils
of the Atlantic Ocean. For if there was no "Freedom Flotilla," the
Cuban Government would be forced to use normal procedures to facili-
tate the departure of those who wished to leave or who were to be
expelled. Further, it is becoming increasingly evident that the Cuban
community itself is being victimized: boat profiteers are making
exorbitant gains for sailing to Mariel and only small numbers of family
members are being allowed to depart, while boats are filled with the
revolution's undesirables. Many boats, in fact, are returning from
Mariel empty, their crews discouraged by long waits, harassment, and
little cooperation in reunifying families. It is evident that many Cuban
community leaders are deeply concerned about the possible impact of
the influx of undesirables on their own remarkable achievements and
on their relations with other citizen groups.
It is imperative that the Cuban community itself voluntarily impose
a moratorium of at least 3 weeks on boat departures for Cuba. This
would remove Cuba's leverage over our Government, and obviate the
need for our officials to take more vigorous enforcement steps-not
only against Cubans, but against any others seeking to sail to America
outside our immigration and refugee laws. The enforcement possibili-
ties are not attractive.
Of course, it is equally critical for this administration to be on
record as endorsing negotiations with Cuba to establish an orderly flow
during the moratorium and agreeing that it will provide an airlift
and/or sealift to bring to America those family members and refugees
the discontinued "Freedom Flotilla" leaves behind.
Although it may be extremely costly, I firmly believe that the Fed-
eral Government must find funding to reimburse the States for costs
involved in transporting and processing applicants while their asylum
claims are being adjudicated. This is, after all, a Federal problem,
beyond the control of any State. If this Government cannot-or
chooses not-to enforce our immigration and refugee laws, it must pay
the price. No State like Florida should be forced to confront this issue
alone. If President Carter decides this Nation should open its arms to
the Cubans, he should see that OMB opens its wallet as well.
As I noted at the outset, a policy to deal with this situation requires
some difficult choices. I think my suggestions are both fair and work-
able. Under my program, families are reunited, all those seeking
asylum are treated identically, true refugees get the benefits of the new
act and ultimately citizenship, illegal entry is discouraged, States are
not penalized for Federal action or inaction, American citizens are
protected, and, if an orderly departure from Cuba can be negotiated,
lives will be saved.
I think my proposal merits serious attention and prompt
I would now like to recognize the distinguished ranking member
of the subcommittee, the gentleman from New York, Mr. Fish.
Mr. Fisi. I would like to just briefly speak in support of the idea.
I visited Key West this past weekend, on the legislative visit the Chair
alluded to earlier, and it is my conclusion that there is an absence of
meaningful action by the U.S. Government, and there must be a deci-
sion made by the Cuban-American community.
The simple fact is that the relatives are not coming out the way they
were a week or so ago; and that there is evidence of great frustration
by a number of Americans I spoke to in Key West who are waiting
vainly in Cuban waters up to 2 weeks, and then return emptyhanded.
They must realize that the undesirable element that is coming out in
lieu of their relatives is not in their interest anymore than it is in the
I think it is worthy, as the Chair indicated, to give us time to nego-
tiate with the Cuban Government. While we still hope to establish
this more fully in the course of these hearings, it is still a simple matter
of Cubans who are eligible for the airlift back in the 1960's that at
that time was terminated. I would imagine this would pick up, in large
part, the family reunification cases that were instigated.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Fish.
I would like to recognize the gentleman from Georgia.
Mr. EVANs. Madam Chairwoman, I would like to ask unanimous
consent that the committee permit the meeting this afternoon to be
covered in whole or in part by television broadcast, radio broadcast,
and/or still photography.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Without objection, so ordered.
Our first witnesses will be persons connected with a 151-foot ocean-
going tug, Dr. Daniels. They are: David Parrot, agent for the vessel;
Paul Schoeller, the owner-representative, who was on the ship during
the entire voyage to Cuba; and Capt. Leovigildo Suresca.
The Dr. Daniels arrived at Key West on May 6, 1980, with 426 pas-
sengers aboard in addition to several U.S. citizens who traveled to
Cuba on the vessel to pick up their relatives. Apparently the U.S.
citizens agreed to pay $250 for each relative they succeeded in bring-
ing from Cuba.
Upon arrival at Key West, the vessel was seized by U.S. Government
officials. A fine of $426,000 was levied, $1,000 for each undocumented
alien, and the 15-member Filipino crew was detained on board.
We will begin with Mr. David Parrot, agent for the vessel.
TESTIMONY OF DAVID PARROT, AGENT FOR THE DR. DANIELS;
PAUL SCHOELLER, OWNER-REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DR.
DANIELS; AND LEOVIGILDO SURESCA, CAPTAIN OF THE DR.
Mr. PARROT. Yes. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
I am David Parrot, the agent for the Dr. Daniels. Briefly, we were
approached by a goodly number of Cuban friends of ours in the ship-
yards in the Ft. Lauderdale area who do work on our vessels, asking
us if we could obtain-
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Would you move the microphone closer to you,
Mr. PARROT [continuing]. Asking us if we could obtain a suitable,
safe-and-sound vessel, as opposed to the majority of the not-so-suitably
safe-and-sound vessels, to go over and pick up what turned out to be
We made the arrangements in very short order. We basically started
out the day before the most major storm in which some people lost
their lives. We volunteered the tug's services to the Coast Guard at
that time, which was naturally declined. But in any event, the vessel
is a salvage tug. Her sole purpose in life is to go to sea in the worst
weather possible to perform rescue missions.
In my effort-realizing the value of the vessel-I made a consider-
able effort to receive assurances from people in the positions of au-
thority, from the State Department on down, all the way on down
to the Key West people on the site, "What is the policy? Do we face
And the answers were invariably, in most cases-in some cases less
invariably-saying that, off the cuff, off the record, "we don't envision
you would have any problems," to outright statements, "there are no
plans, policies, or whatever, to institute seizures or fine proceedings
at this stage of the game."
In the last instance, or the last individual I talked to, a man on the
spot in Key West, he had indicated that I should give him a call the
day the tug was to leave Mariel Bay for Key West, confirming that
the situation was still unchanged.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Parrot, I am going to have to interrupt you
now. The second bells have rung and the subcommittee will stand in
Ms. HOLTZ1MAN. The subcommittee will again commence the hearing.
Mr. Parrot, you may continue.
Mr. PARROT. Well, I think where I left off was: Having checked
with the authorities from the State Department on down, given
guarded assurances on a consistent basis that there would not be fines
or seizures or whatever levied, I didn't want to take that at face value
however, so I made it very clear to all these agencies that we weren't
talking about a run-of-the-mill vessel; that the vessel had a 28,000-
mile range nonstop; that she could go anywhere, and would they like
us to set a precedent and allow her and the vessel to proceed with her
immigrants to, lets' say, Costa Rica.
At that time I was advised that the Costa Rican authorities more
than likely wouldn't accept them, so we need not pursue that further.
Not accepting that, I went to some attorneys in Costa Rica and
received assurance from the Costa Rican authorities that, yes, they
would accept our immigrants, or refugees, if we had any on the
I went back to the authorities again-the State Department, Cus-
toms, Immigration, and said:
Would you like us to establish this precedent, to break this pattern of tiny
little vessels sinking, and putting 60 people on a vessel 25 feet, and if it's a little
rough they all run to the side away from the waves and over it goes? Well, that
isn't happening to our vessel.
In any event, I was told:
"No, don't do that. That's unnecessary." Don't rock the boat. You
have your assurances, guarded though they were.
So basically, that was the preparation of the Dr. Daniels, in ad-
dition to loading 32 tons of water, 4 tons of food, 200-plus lifejackets,
two 30-man lifeboats, et cetera, et cetera, 228 tons of fuel, to make
this trip and provide whatever assistance she could, in order, as I say,
to pick up 148 refugees.
She legally cleared Customs, she came in on a flag vessel, a British
protectorate, legally cleared Port Everglades, Fla., for Cuba, and
from there I was in touch on occasion with Mr. Schoeller, the owner's
aide, and the captain, who perhaps should take over from here and
I could come back to it.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Schoeller, you may proceed now.
Mr. SCHOELLER. All right. I will continue from-I was on the com-
plete voyage. After departing Fort Lauderdale, I think we made the
run to Mariel in about 29 hours; we arrived late at night, decided not
to attempt the harbor until the next day. We anchored off.
In the morning we got to see the conditions-very many boats in
the harbor, a lot of gunboats, so we waited at the harbor, and then
decided that we were going to go in. We got-went in, got about half-
way and the Cubans turned us around and told us to go away, out of
the harbor somewhere.
We dropped the anchor again, talked to some of the soldiers on the
gunboat that was outside. They said that later on that day we would
be given clearance to enter.
I guess it was around 3 o'clock that afternoon we had permission
to go into the harbor. We picked up soldiers on board for the ride in,
and also a harbor pilot. Once we dropped anchor we were asking them
the procedures for obtaining these relatives that we came for, and
none of the people-the Army, knew.
By this time it was getting late, and they said that Immigration
would be by. The normal international procedure in a foreign port is
that nobody leaves the vessel until Immigration has cleared everybody
on board, so we began waiting. After seeing the conditions in the
harbor and the fact that everybody was leaving the vessel-other
vessels, we decided to put together a group to represent our Cuban
people on board, to go in and find out what the story was.
We did that with the Zodiac launch we have on board. When asked
on returning if they had any progress, they said they did not have
much progress at all. I think it was about 3 days after entering the
harbor then that Immigration finally arrived.
They had a screening process that they performed on each person
looking for his relatives, and they screened out all those people-I
think it was between the ages of 15 and 25 years, male, and in other
words, in that age bracket they serve in the Army, they didn't allow
any of the ones that were in the Army already to be released, and of
course, any of those people, I think, in hospitals, weren't allowed to
The list, I think, was chopped from 148 people to approximately
Now, when Immigration decided to leave, we obviously asked how
long it was going to be. They said it could be 2 days, 3 days, and:
"You'll have them and you'll be ready to leave."
So there was hope. We waited and waited, and that's when we were
getting reports over the radio that they were loading Peruvian Em-
bassy refugees. We heard reports from captains on the radio that a
number of people were boarded in handcuffs and released as they
stepped aboard their vessels, so in other words, things weren't looking
very good for us as far as getting our relatives.
These were also boats that had been in the harbor longer than we
On the sixth day there, I snuck a radio communications out of the
harbor to the United States and I talked with David Parrot, and I
received orders then that there had been nothing but criminals arriving
at Key West, and they ordered me to leave Tuesday afternoon-I don't
know the date, with whatever-you know, refugees we had on board.
We were leaving empty; we were not-if they in that last day got
any of the family on board, we would take them, but only that, be-
cause Tuesday noon we were leaving if we had anybody or not.
So that was the Monday night, wve-the captain notified the Cuban
authorities that we wanted port clearance Tuesday afternoon, and
around 1 o'clock in the morning, Tuesday morning, the Cuban army
personnel boarded the vessel; these people were armed, they woke us
up, told us that we were going to load refugees from the Peruvian
Embassy at the deep-water dock because our vessel couldn't load at
the normal places, and that the captain had to maneuver the vessel to
Upon this request the captain refused, of course; he didn't want to
have anything to do with loading of the people unless they were rela-
tives. I told them that we had to leave empty, and they said it didn't
matter. We asked to speak with the British Consulate, he said that was
impossible at this hour of the day and that they would get the shift
over there tonight, because they were ready to load.
So we made it successfully over to the dock and that is where there
were 14 busloads of refugees waiting for us under almost daylight
condition, with all of the exterior lighting they had, a large number of
army officers all around the buses, and everything through portable
fencing; it was kind of like a delta, from the buses down to one single
file entry onto the vessel [indicating].
The soldiers on the vessel did a complete search of the vessel, while
the crew was put aft, and then they started loading procedures, where
they just rammed them on just as fast as they could possibly be put on.
In fact, one person fell between the dock and the ship, and it was just
a concrete dock, so he got out OK.
The first complete busload appeared to me to be prostitutes; as far
as identifying a criminal element, it's a little harder in the male, but
I think a prostitute is a little easier to identify..
I think we loaded the 426 count in under a half an hour; we sepa-
rated the women and children and men, the men staying aft on the
vessel, the women and children going forward into the 15-odd cabins, I
think, that are on board the vessel.
They put a pilot on us and we were told to leave. As soon as we
cleared the harbor, I contacted the First Portsmouth Coast Guard on
the high-seas radio, who referred me to the New Orleans Coast Guard,
who eventually got Miami on the landline and they came up on the
radio to where I was talking directly with Miami Coast Guard. I
believe their call letters are November My F.
I told them the size of the vessel, the flag, the fact that we had
refugees on board, and that I would maintain a constant watch on
that frequency so that we could perform assistance if they needed us,
that we were on our way across, and I gave the Coast Guard a very
accurate position every 2 hours.
The vessel was equipped with satellite navigation and also FORAN-
C, so-and I gave them, of course, an ETA sea voyage Key West, and
we arrived there 12:30 Tuesday, noontime approximately, and that's
where we met the Coast Guard Cutter Cape Gull.
We were held at the sea buoy for about 2 hours; the Coast Guard
stating that they were not ready for us yet, that they were tied up with
other immigrants at the dock.
After the 2 hours, and much, by the way, the Coast Guard seemed
to incite the passengers to cheering. They were trying to get them to
chant "Viva Carter" and "Down with Castro," such things like that,
which got everybody psyched up. Up until this point the refugees
were very quiet; now they were kind of excited about getting to
We followed the Cape Gull into Key West Submarine Base, where
we docked, and I believe after evacuating everybody on board, the
vessel was seized about an hour and a half after we arrived. All papers
were intact on the vessel, and that's basically the story as far as-this
is where Mr. Parrot can continue.
Mr. PARROT. In addition to the seizure of the vessel, of course, the
entire crew had their landing cards stamped "Refused." The result,
the first member of our crew that's been allowed off our boat is the
captain, who was released yesterday to testify, "on parole," I think
tho word is.
The balance of the crew, of course, is still detained aboard the vessel.
I suppose basically we were asked to come here to testify on the situa-
tion on the one hand; at the same time I have asked-I can't imagine
the number of authorities, from again, all branches in the Govern-
ment-why were we singled out ?
The law is the law, yes, but if the law is to be administered, it must
be administered on an equal basis. I have had no answers to my ques-
tions that have been consistent or satisfactory: I've had Immigration
say: contract Customs. Customs said Immigration, Immigration said
Coast Guard. You're used to it yourselves, I'm sure.
So we are sitting in a quandary with a very valuable vessel and a
very competent, capable crew, which of course we can't use at this
stage of the game.
The vessel was actually placed on the market, or for sale, prior to
this whole matter, which we had copies of the ads, and so on.
You know, when we try to cooperate, when we offer alternatives,
when we have talked to as many authorities as we have, and the re-
sult is-until yesterday I guess at least-the singling out of our vessel,
we needless to say were confused.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you very much for your testimony.
I want to clarify some of the points that have been raised. Is it your
testimony that before you left Key West you spoke with various State
Department officials, and you told them that you were prepared to
take the people you picked up in Cuba to Costa Rica ?
Is that correct?
Mr. PARROT. Yes.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. And how did they respond?
Mr. PARROT. That question of Costa Rica started before the tug left.
I had tentative answers prior to its departure from Costa Rican au-
thorities, and final answers after it actually had left, while we were
trying to prepare alternatives should they become necessary. But the
response was, as I think I said before, "No"-
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The response from our State Department? From
the American State Department?
Mr. PARROT. Yes. It was, "don't rock the boat."
Ms. HOLTZMAN. "Don't take people to Costa Rica"?
Mr. PARROT. "Don't take people to Costa Rica." Which, again, as I
say, we are a very capable vessel and could have gone anywhere. And
to me, quite frankly, when we offered alternatives which wouldn't have
had the vessel impounded or the crew detained, to me, when we were
invited into Key West under those circumstances-I don't know
whether "entrapment" is the right word, or whatever, but I certainly
made every effort to prepare ourselves and the government as to what
was going on.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Prior to the time you left the United States for
Cuba, did you ask the State Department whether it was legal, ap-
propriate, and in essence "OK" with the U.S. Government for you to
go to Cuba ?
Mr. PARROT. Yes.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What did they say?
Mr. PARROT. Yes; I asked them, and they said specifically: "It is
Ms. HOLTZNMAN. They said what ? "Illegal ?"
Mr. PARROT. They said, "It is illegal to bring in illegal, nonvisaed
aliens." I said I was aware of that law; I'm also aware of the fact that
people are coming in daily, and "what is the policy?"
And the off-the-record, or off-the-curb kind of a statement is:
"We don't anticipate any problem at the moment; I can only advise
you that there are no fines or seizures taking place."
We recognized there was a risk in going down there. We recognized
we had a twofold risk: One, the size of the vessel being an attractive
piece of bait for the Cuban Government would, say, looking at any
chance to seize the vessel; they certainly don't have anything like it
in their fleet.
And second, the risk on the return to Key West, with what we hoped
would be 148 relatives. As I say, we knew the people involved, we
knew the Cubans who-
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Parrot, we have a limited time. I would ap-
preciate your responding very briefly, if you can, to the questions.
Let me just see if I can summarize in a question. At any time did
the State Department or any U.S. Government official say to you, prior
to the time you left for Cuba to pick up these relatives, that you should
Mr. PARROT. Did they say that we should not go?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Yes.
Mr. PARROT. One individual advised against it. One out of six.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What was the basis for the advice against it ?
Mr. PARROT. Just that "you're taking a risk; I would advise against
it, if I owned the vessel," I think was his comment.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Let me just ask a question now about the cargo that
you brought back.
Were there any relatives on the boat among the 426 people who were
boarded in Cuba ?
Mr. PARROT. No.
Ms. HOLTZM1AN. No relatives?
Mr. PARROT. No relatives.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. And did you feel that you had to take these 426
people, in essence, at gunpoint?
Mr. PARROT. Well, I wasn't there, but certainly from everything
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Schoeller, would you answer that?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Yes. It was by gunpoint.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. You didn't think you could say no safely ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. I wouldn't take the chance to say no.
Ms. HOLTZ-MAN. Of the 426 people who were loaded on the boat,
can you say what percentage consisted of families ?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. I believe-I think there were around 30 families
on board; there were a number of children-I would say upward of
15 children, from very tiny to grade school age, and approximately
300 male, like 18 and over, and then of course, quite a few females
that I think were criminals.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Of the 300 males 18 and over who were not con-
nected with these families, how would you characterize them? How
did they appear to you?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. They certainly weren't professional people like
doctors and lawyers. It's hard to say, because I heard a lot of reports
that they, first off, had not had food in four days, and they hadn't
had water in two. So you could probably take almost any person and
have him look criminal after that kind of treatment.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Were any of them loaded on the boat with hand-
Mr. SCHOELLER. I didn't see any handcuffs at that time.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. My time has expired. Mr. Danielson ?
Mr. DANIELSON. The $250 per person that the U.S. citizen passen-
gers agreed to pay, was that to yourself as the operator of the ship ?
Mr. PARROT. That's correct, and your figure is actually incorrect;
91 of the relatives were charged $250, and the remaining up to 148
were charged $500.
Mr. DANIELSON. Ninety-odd at $250, and 100-and-some-
Mr. PARROT. Well, the balance adding up to 148. My math is not that
Mr. DANIELSON. They were at $500.
Mr. PARROT. Yes.
Mr. DANIELSON. You stated you knew that you were acting illegally
before you went. Your question seems to be only this: Why were we
singled out ? Is that the essence of it ?
Mr. PARROT. Our question is: Why when we had arranged suitable
alternatives which would protect ourselves, why when we had made
the request, why then we were invited in.
You see, we had given instructions for the tug to leave empty on
Tuesday at noon.
Mr. DANIELSON. To leave Cuba?
Mr. PARROT. To leave Cuba. So at that point, I didn't feel I had to
check with the officer and Key West, or make any more checking.
I was out of the country on Monday, and so I expected her to come
back empty. I did not know she was going to be seized.
Mr. DANIELSON. But in your absence, somebody else was in charge.
Who was that? Either the captain-
Mr. PARROT. Yes; the captain, or Mr. Schoeller, or whatever. And,
yes, they were certainly aware of the laws, as was I.
Mr. DANIELSON. Well, then, Mr. Schoeller, as far as you were con-
cerned, you were on the vessel ? Is that true ?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. DANIELSON. You were on the vessel. It did come with a cargo of
aliens who did not carry papers entitling them to U.S. entry.
Mr. SCHOELLER. Correction. They did carry papers. We made sure
each and every person-and this was one of our requests, because they
didn't really do what we told them-was that each person be carrying
Mr. DANIELSON. No, no. Did they have a visa permitting them entry
into the United States?
Mr. SCHOELLER. No. They carried papers in the form of a passport
Mr. DANIELSON. All right, but they had no papers, documents-
Mr. SCHOELLER. That's correct.
Mr. DANIELSON [continuing]. Providing them the right to enter the
Mr. SCHOELLER. That is correct. They didn't have the papers.
Mr. DANIELSON. And of course you know that is contrary to the laws
of the United States.
Mr. SCIIOELLER. Well-
Mr. DANIELSON. Your objection seems to be: Why were we singled
out? Am I right?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. Yes. Let's put it that way; sure.
Mr. DANIELSON. Well, I don't know why you were singled out,
but obviously from what you have stated, you indicated that you knew
you were in violation of the law.
Mr. SCIIOELLER. Yes, sir, but we were aware also that the law was
Mr. DANIELSON. By whom?
Mr. SCHOELLER. I don't know.
Mr. DANIELSON. Nor do I.
Mr. SCHOELLER. The guards-
Mr. DANIELSON. I will ask someone else. I yield back my time, be-
cause I don't think you do know the answer-
Mr. SCHOELLER. No; I don't.
Mr. DANIELSON. I am going to try to find out.
Mr. PARROT. No; we would love to know the answer. The day before
they came in, there was Carter's speech of "open arms, open hearts,"
and where the heck do we stand ?
Mr. DANIELSON. Well, you knew that you were certainly in a twi-
light zone obviously before you got there; but we can find out from
other witnesses. I thank you and yield back the balance of my time.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The gentleman from New York, Mr. Fish.
Mr. FISH. Gentlemen, you arrived April 29, in Mariel Harbor? Is
Mr. PARROT. It was Tuesday, May 6. Tuesday, May 6, I believe.
Mr. SCHOELLER. No.
Mr. FISH. That's when you first arrived in Mariel?
Mr. PARROT. Oh, in Mariel? Right.
Mr. FISH. You stayed there 1 week ?
Mr. PARROT. Yes.
Mr. FISH. What prompted you to make the decision to leave Cuba
on May 6?
Mr. PARROT. Well, primarily the fact that it was apparent from all
sources-our communication with the tug in Mariel-that the primary
elements coming out of Cuba were criminal. One of the other agent's
comments was basically the fact that:
Look, I made an agreement and I'll live up to the agreement. I said we would
stay there until Tuesday noon, and beyond that I don't want the vessel to stay
If I bring in one Cuban mother, I've done a humane thing; but if I bring in 10
criminals and they kill two mothers here, then that loss is one mother, and I want
nothing to do with it.
That was his comment, which might be a crude way to put it, but
Mr. FISH. So you were not successful in receiving the relatives of the
Cuban-Americans that you had gone over to get?
Mr. PARROT. That's correct.
Mr. FISH. On these busloads of Cubans that you finally did take,
did you say there was a substantial number of males 20 to 40 years of
age, traveling alone without luggage ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Yes; that is correct.
Mr. FISH. What percentage would you say of the entire number of
Mr. SCIIOELLER. Well, in the very old, I would say I estimated around
300 of those were males, 300 males on board of 18 very old; and cutting
68-726 0 81 2
out the very old, I would say there was nearly 85, 90 percent of the 300
were in that age bracket, with no baggage.
Of course, there was nobody with baggage. They're not allowed.
Mr. FisH. Did any of these people indicate to you that they had not
initiated the voyage to the United States themselves ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Did you ask if anybody indicated to me that they
did not want to go?
Mr. FIsH. No; that they had not initiated the voyage; not that they
weren't willing once they got on board the ship, and were on this way
to the United States. It wasn't their volition, it wasn't their initiative
that got them to the vessel.
Mr. SCHOELLER. Are you asking how did they get to vessel ? Or was
it their initiative to want to be a refugee; is that it ?
Mr. FISH. That's correct.
Mr. SCHOELLER. No; there were very few that spoke English, and at
the time I was mainly concerned with getting the vessel safely across
the straits. So I didn't have any conversation with any of the refugees.
Mr. FIsu. Was one of the reasons your vessel was impounded upon
your arrival to Key West that you were overcrowded? Were you told
Mr. SCHOELLER. I believe that was one of the things that they said.
I believe it was stated that it was unsafe.
Mr. FISH. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Hall ?
Mr. HALL. I don't know which one of you gentlemen testified to this,
but did I understand you to state that you were intending to take these
people to Costa Rica and the U.S. Coast Guard, told you not to do
Mr. PARROT. No. We offered the authorities, the State Department,
Immigration, and whatever, the option of our taking them to Costa
Rica, having had clearance to do so.
Mr. HALL. Clearance from who?
Mr. PARROT. From Costa Rica.
Mr. HALL. They were desirous of having these people ?
Mr. PARROT. They weren't saying they were desirous, but they al-
lowed as how they would accept them. So we didn't say to the Coast
Guard, "we're going to go to Costa Rica with these people," and they
said, "no, don't go." But when I talked to the authorities they said:
No, don't change the structure we have going now, don't become in-
volved in the politics of it, whatever.
Mr. HALL. But at what time in this voyage were you told that Costa
Rica would accept these people and who told you that, if you know?
Mr. PARROT. Do you want the names of the individuals ?
Mr. HALL. Yes; I sure do.
Mr. PARROT. Attorney Luis Grebayo. I can give additional details
later, if you would like.
Mr. HALL. Did he tell you that ?
Mr. PARROT. Me, personally.
Mr. HALL. Where were you when that statement was made?
Mr. PARROT. On the phone in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Mr. HALL. And where was he ?
Mr. PARROT. In Costa Rica.
Mr. HALL. Did you tell the Coast Guard that you had had a previous
understanding that that country, Costa Rica, would accept these
Mr. PARROT. To go over it again, I didn't tell the Coast Guard that,
no. When I was told by the State Department that you had to face. the
possibility that Costa Rica wouldn't accept them, that's when I pur-
sued the matter. I then came back to the authorities and said we did
have that option, would you like for us to proceed with this and set a
I was told no, very simply.
Mr. HALL. In essence, to bring those people to the United States ?
Mr. PARROT. Yes; that's correct.
Mr. HALL. Did any of the people on board your vessel express a
desire to go to Costa Rica?
Mr. PARROT. No, no, of course not. Understand, this was all with the
148 refugees, family members we hoped to bring out. I wasn't aware
until such time as the seizure that we had been forced at gunpoint to
load these people.
Mr. HALL. Well, where did your vessel leave from ? What physical
Mr. PARROT. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Mariel Bay, Mariel Bay to
Mr. HALL. When you arrived at Key West-when did you leave
Mr. PARROT. We haven't left there. That is why my crew is still there.
Mr. HALL. You've never left there?
Mr. PARROT. We can't. We're seized or whatever word you choose to
Mr. HALL. Well, are there any other vessels that are experiencing
the same problems that your vessel is ?
Mr. PARROT. I believe as of yesterday that the "America" was seized,
and I believe-well, Carl ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. I was just down there. I came from Key West di-
rectly. They haven't been putting the red Customs seizure stickers on
most of the boats. The "America" received the red Customs seizure
There were a number of shrimpers, I would say in the neighborhood
of 10 to 15, that they stopped just in the past few days, and I believe
the word they used was "detained"; they were not seized for question-
ing. That's all I could gather from that.
Mr. HALL. Are those the only three vessels that you have any knowl-
edge of, yours included, that have been seized or detained?
Mr. SCHOELLER. No; there were three other shrimping vessels that
were seized while we were down in Cuba.
Mr. HALL. They were seized by whom ?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. Customs, Immigration, Coast Guard, combined
as a three-that's what they told me, and they said that they were
lying over at Stock Island, another island over.
Mr. HALL. Did your vessel only engage in this activity the one time ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. That's correct.
Mr. HALL. Were you paid-and I'm trying to hurry. You mentioned
some figures here a moment ago. For this trip you made around $9,600.
Was that paid to you or to the owner of the vessel ?
Mr. PARROT. No. It was $52,500 was the total amount paid for the
148 relatives that were hopefully to have been brought in.
Mr. HALL. Who was that money paid to?
Mr. PARROT. It was paid to us.
Mr. HALL. Has that money also been held up in some way ?
Mr. PARROT. No; the money hasn't been seized. But it's obviously
still there and available.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The time of the gentleman has expired.
The gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. BUTLER. I will yield to the gentleman from Texas.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Would you like some more time? The gentleman
from Virginia has yielded.
Mr. BUTLER. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.
Mr. HALL. I thank the gentleman from Virginia. It's getting to
where you're making a habit of this and I appreciate it very much.
I'm not clear on what happened. Where is this vessel based ?
Mr. PARROT. She's an ocean-going salvage tug. She has no base. Her
hail point is Georgetown, Grand Caymon.
But a tug tows vessels all over the world.
Mr. HALL. Who made the initial determination to try to get Cubans
from Cuba to the United States?
Mr. PARROT. The approach was made to me by the Cubans in a ship-
yard by the management of the shipyard and I offered to help find
the vessel and it developed from there.
Mr. HALL. And did the vessel ever go to Havana or to Cuba?
Mr. PARROT. Yes.
Mr. HALL. When? When did it arrive in Cuba?
Mr. PARROT. It arrived the 29th of May.
Mr. HALL. You mean April?
Mr. PARROT. Of April. I'm sorry, you're correct.
Mr. HALL. It arrived on the 29th of April. All right. When you
got there, you had no people aboard except your crew?
Mr. PARROT. No; we had 22 relatives who were going to go down
as sponsors to pick up the 148 family members.
Mr. HALL. When you arrived, did you get your 148 members on
Mr. PARROT. No; we certainly didn't. As I say, we were denied ac-
cess to any relatives whatsoever and the vessel was forcibly taken
into the dock and forced to load 426 nonrelatives.
Mr. HALL. So you never got any of the 148?
Mr. PARROT. No; we never did.
Mr. HALL. But you were forced to board all of these people that the
Cubans evidently wanted to get rid of from Cuba, out of their country ?
Mr. PARROT. Right. you've got a clear picture.
Mr. HALL. Including this group you mentioned earlier?
Mr. PARROT. Including-not the 148.
Mr. HALL. No; I'm talking about including women of ill repute
that you mentioned earlier as part of this 426.
Mr. PARROT. They were not part of our crew, no. They were part
of the 426. [Laughter.]
Mr. HALL. I gathered that. You would have an extraordinary vessel
if you didn't.
When you got there, when were you told, after you arrived in Cuba,
that you would not pick up the relatives?
Mr. PARROT. Could you repeat that, please ?
Mr. HALL. When you arrived in Cuba, how did you learn that you
would not be allowed to pick up the 148 relatives ?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. Attrition. It was just the constant waiting. We had
7 days to remain in the harbor and there was no sign, positive sign of
picking relatives up. And the reports on the radio which we were
hearing were that the wrong people were arriving in Key West and
only the wrong people.
Mr. HALL. You say the "wrong people"?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. People who were not being claimed by U.S. relatives.
Mr. HALL. Well, who was in charge of the vessel there at Cuba ? You
or the gentleman next to you?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. Myself and the captain here.
Mr. HALL. All right. Did you go on board or go on land while you
were there to try to get these 148 relatives ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. We instituted-Well, we performed the organiza-
tion of the 22 Cuban relatives that we took down to-well, not-we
were trying to make them go ashore and try to get the ball rolling. Ap-
parently they thought that Castro was just going to come out and hand
them their relatives. But we had to institute, I think it ended up, a
party of six to go ashore with a boat which we supplied and to talk
with these people.
You can't just sit there. And that's what we did.
Mr. HALL. Was it after that venture on shore that the Cubans forced
these 426 on board ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Yes, sir, well after. We had our Cuban delegates on
shore the day after we arrived.
Mr. HALL. Then you brought those 428 back to where, Key West?
Mr. SCHOELLER. That's correct.
Mr. HALL. And that's where the detention took place ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Correct.
Mr. HALL. What happened to the 426 people that were on board?
Mr. SCIOELLER. Immigration handles that. I believe they get--
Mr. HALL. But I'm saying, off-
Mr. SCIIOELLER. They were taken off the vessel immediately.
Mr. HALL. Where the relatives that went over with you, were they
allowed to get off when you got back to Key West ?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. Correct, and they all went home.
Mr. HALL. All right. Now what were you paid ?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. DANIELSON. I ask unanimous consent for him to continue.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Is there objection ?
Mr. HALL. When were you paid this money per person for getting
the relatives? Before you went over?
Mr. PARROT. Yes; that's correct.
Mr. HALL. Thank you.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The gentleman from California.
Mr. LUNGREN. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
Mr. Schoeller, we've gone in some detail into the circumstances of
what occurred when you were actually in Cuba. Would you give us
an idea of how many vessels are in the harbor in Cuba ? What is the
procedure when you go in ? Are you met by a Cuban gunboat ? Do you
check into a point ? How does that work there ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. The little vessels are led into the harbor by one
gunboat that's like a, you know, the chicken and all the chicks behind
it, because these are very small boats we're talking about, 22 feet.
They're led in a parade.
There are two bays within Mariel Bay, and it seemed like the little
boats were put in either one or the other bay. There was always a
rumor that the other bay was getting their relatives first, and then
you moved into No. 2 bay, and then you were in line for your relatives.
As far as us, a larger ship, we had to take on a pilot, just a normal
procedure in entering any port with a vessel over 300 tons gross.
Mr. LUNGREN. Do you give them a list of the number of relatives
that you're looking for ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. We had a typewritten list and many copies that were
submitted to Immigration, who boarded the boat 3 days later after
arriving in the port.
Mr. LUNGREN. What instructions were you given? Just to sit out in
the bay and wait for further instructions?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Even less than that: nothing.
Mr. LUNGREN. Did you have adequate provisions on board?
Mr. SCHOELLER. We had provisions on board for almost a year.
Mr. LUNGREN. You were ready for the possibility of a long wait.
We've heard some rumors that there were rather exorbitant prices
being charged for food to those who were sitting there waiting. Do you
know anything about that?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Well, when you have a boat that goes to Cuba and
it's just a 22-foot open boat with 10 people in it, they run out of food
the first day. They were charging, I think it was $35 for a small leg of
lamb, precooked; $10 for I guess it was approximately a gallon and a
half of water if they brought it in bottled containers, which all the
little boats had to do. They had no provisions for holding water. The
larger boats, like the shrinipers and what-not, paid $90 a ton for water.
Mr. LUNGRENT. When this group left your vessel to go on shore, you
say to try and identify some relatives, what was the procedure there ?
Were you told by the Cuban authorities to do that ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Cuba actually had a very lenient boarding proce-
dure, I mean as far as-or rather, landing procedure. It just seemed
like everybody would go in and walk around as they pleased. In fact,
a number of our people went to a town 40 miles away. Some people
were going into Havana and spending nights in motels.
Their main purpose in going ashore, 1 believe, was to try to contact
their relatives by phone. Many times they would wait in line up to
10 hours to make a phone call, just local.
Mr. LUNGREN. Were you told by someone from your ship that you
were going to have to take these other people before you contacted
the Cuban authorities to say you were leaving? Or did you indicate
in some way to them that you were leaving and at that point they
said you had some cargo th:t you were going to take with you?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Right. I was not contacted before. I just heard
rumors about them not letting ships go without taking the Peruvian
Embassy refugee people. It wasn't until after we notified them Mon-
day evening that we were going to leave empty Tuesday noontime that
they did board the vessel at 1 o'clock Tuesday morning.
Mr. LUNGREN. And that's when they put the other people on board ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Correct.
Mr. LUNGREN. Did they give you any indication who these people
were or why they wanted them to go or anything of that sort?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. No.
Mr. LUNGREN. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. McClory ?
MIr. McCLonR. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
I would like to make a few inquiries with regard to what your un-
derstanding of U.S. immigration and refugee policy was. I judge
that when you left Fort Lauderdale that you understood that there
were 3,500 Cuban refugees in the Peruvian Embassy. You took some
family members on board, went to Cuba, matched up with some rela-
tives, and took the family members to Costa Rica; and that was in
full accordance with the law, with the immigration or refugee policy
about which the President of the United States, through the Ambassa-
dor Palmieri and the Attorney General, had consultation with mem-
bers of this committee.
Now, the 22 people that went down to Cuba with you were Cubans
with lawful residence in the United States, were they not?
Mr. SCHOELLER. That's correct. I believe most of them even, they
were citizens of the United States.
Mr. MCCLORY. Now, you mentioned, though, that somewhere after
you left Fort Lauderdale, I think when you were either down there
in the harbor at Mariel or outside the harbor, that you heard some-
thing about an open-arms policy, that others were to be welcome. This
is unrelated to the 3,500 in the Peruvian Embassy, is that correct?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. We heard that open-arms policy before we left.
Mr. MCCLORY. You heard that before you left?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. I believe when we left there were almost 4,000 re-
fugees accepted in the country.
Mr. McCLORY. So you heard about that policy, but that was not what
you were pursuing. You were not pursuing that open-arms policy;
you were pursuing the policy of receiving relatives, were you not?
Family members ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Right. We were down there strictly for a certain
list of people.
Mr. McCLORY. Then when you got down there, what contact did
the people on board have with their relatives, if any .
Mr. SCIIOELLER. I believe eventually most of them got to talk to
their relatives on the phone.
Mr. MCCLORY. And then what happened to the 22 ? Did they stay
Mr. SCHOELLER. Yes.
Mr. MCCLORY. Did they come back?
Mr. SCHIOELLER. Yes.
Mr. MCCLORY. Did any of the family members come back with
Mr. ScIJoLL.Rn. No.
Mr. PARROT. I believe subsequently several of the family members
have arrived on other vessels, but you'd have to check on that.
Mr. McCLoRY. But this policy that you heard about just before
you left and after you arrived down there was the one which was
inflicted upon them, is that correct ?
Mr. SCHOELLER. Could you repeat that?
Mr. MCCLORY. The policy that you heard about, about the open
arms policy and that the people who choose to come here could come
under the policy that you heard about after you got there, or before
Mr. SCIIOELLER. That's correct. Castro, we heard, was letting any-
body who wished to leave leave. But the open arms policy I was refer-
ring to was that instituted by the United States.
Mr. MCCLORY. Yes. But that was beyond the family members,
Mr. PARROT. Yes, it was.
Mr. MCCLORY. So that when you got there you believed that this
open arms policy would enable whoever got on board your ship to get
on without your getting into any trouble ?
Mr. SCITOELLER. Yes; that it was going to follow true to form as
the other vessels did.
Mr. MCCLORY. And that the refugees who came on board, and were
landed over here, that they just would wink at the immigration laws?
That they were not going to enforce the laws as you had previously
understood them? Is that right?
Mr. SCIIOELLER. That's correct.
Mr. MCCLORY. So that you were relying on those assurances. Where
did you hear those, on the radio ?
Mr. PARROT. No. Perhaps I can make that clear. As I said, the as-
surances or the guarded assurances-is the proper word to use-came
from a number of authorities, from U.S. Customs, from the State
Department, from Immigration, and so on.
The open arms policy business, as far as it affected the vessels arriv-
ing in Key West, as stated in the President's speech, just we felt was
further assurance that we needn't worry arriving the next day.
Mr. MCCLORY. Prior to that time, you knew that it was illegal to
bring illegal aliens into this country on a ship?
Mr. PARROT. Correct.
Mr. McCLORYn. And you knew you would be subject to penalty. But
it was that announcement by the President that misled you into think-
ing that it was not a violation of law; is that correct?
Mr. PARROT. It's partially so. It certainly made us relax, let's say.
Yes, we did relax and I didn't feel we had to pursue the Costa Rican
avenue any further or whatever else, not that I even knew we had the
immigrants aboard at that time, myself being, you know, I didn't
know that she'd been forced to load the nonfamily members.
Mr. McCrLony. Nobody from the Peruvian Embassy came back on
your ship ?
Mr. PARROT. That we don't know.
Mr. SCIHOELLER. We don't know. We were told a lot of them were
from the Peruvian Embassy.
Ms. HOLTZ3MAN. The time of the gentleman has expired.
I have told the members of the subcommittee that Ambassador
Palmieri has been waiting patiently. I want to thank you the panel
Mr. HALL. Madam Chairman, may I ask one question of these
gentlemen ? I'd like to ask unanimous consent.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Without objection.
Mr. HALL. Either one of you gentlemen, you've indicated on several
occasions that members of the State Department or Immigration or
Customs, or a combination, told you in effect, don't rock the boat,
take them back to the United States. Is that a correct rendition of what
Mr. PARROT. That's a paraphrase.
Mr. HALL. Do you have any names of those people that told you that
in those various departments ?
Mr. PARROT. Yes, I do.
Mr. HALL. Would you give me those names, please?
Mr. PARROT. Publicly ?
Mr. HALL. Yes; unless the chairwoman has some-I'd like to hear
them, yes, sir.
Mr. PARROT. Well, OK. Let's see. Mr. Broh-Kahn was the most
guarded in his statement from the State Department, the most guarded
of all the individuals as to our going in the first place. He was also the
one whoone who told me that we should anticipate Costa Rica prob-
of Immigration not re-accepting the immigrants in from Costa Rica,
ably not accepting the emigres, and further anticipate the possibility
or their family members. OK, so his comment was certainly guarded.
When I went back to-you have to understand that I spoke to as
many as 20-or-so people at various different times.
Mr. HALL. I just want the names of those who told you that people
should be brought back to the United States and not taken to Costa
Mr. PARROT. OK. Mister-let's see. District Director Ray Morris;
Mr. Kaps, officer in charge of customs, Key West.
Mr. HALL. That's Mr. Morris?
Mr. PARROT. Mr. Ray Morris.
Mr. HALL. Who is he with ?
Mr. PARROT. District Director, U.S. Immigration.
Mr. Kaps, K-a-p-s, officer in charge of Key West. His phone num-
ber has since been disconnected owing to the massive calls I'm sure he
was receiving. He's U.S. Customs, as I say, in charge on the spot in
Mr. Jim Dingfelder.
Mr. HALL. How do you spell that ?
Mr. PARROT. Kaps ? Or Dingfelder ?
Mr. HALL. How do you spell the last one ?
Mr. PARROT. Mr. Jim Dingfelder, D-i-n-g-f-e-l-d-e-r, who's been
very cooperative; I'll admit that.
Mr. HALL. Who is he with ?
Mr. PARROT. U.S. Customs officer in charge of public affairs.
Mr. HALL. All right, go ahead. Any other ones ?
Mr. PARROT. Let's see. Well, we also talked to Governor Graham's
office, former Governor Neurell's office. Out of Governor Graham's
office, Mr. Keith Arnold, who indicated that we should let it ride and
proceed as everyone else was proceeding.
Mr. HALL. Now, he is with the Governor's office?
Mr. PARROT. Florida.
Mr. HALL. Of Florida.
Mr. PARROT. Yes.
Mr. HALL. How did you spell the first name ? Broh-Kahn.
Mr. PARROT. It's your man at the State Department, and quite
frankly, I couldn't confirm what the spelling is. I have it as Mr.
B-r-o-h-a-m, or -k-a-m.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Hall, the other witnesses have been waiting
patiently. Perhaps if there is a question about spelling you could
meet with him later.
Mr. PARROT. W'd be happy to talk to you after the fact, if you would
Mr. HALL. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I would like to thank the witnesses very much for
coming before us.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Parrot follows:]
STATEMENT BY DAVID G. PARROT, AGENT FOR THE TUG, DB. DANIELS
Sequence of events relating to the seizure of the Cayman Island flag ocean going
salvage tug, Dr. Daniels.
On approximately Wednesday, or Thursday, April 23rd or 24th, I, David G.
Perrot, as Agent for Norway Enterprises, the Cayman Island owners of the tug
Dr. Daniels, was approached by several of the shipyard employees of Derecktor
Gunnell Shipyard, Dania, Florida, to see if I could arrange to make available a
vessel suitable for picking up relatives of Derecktor Gunnell employees who were
located in Cuba. My first response was negative, but I indicated I would try.
On both Thursday the 24th, and Friday the 25th, I talked to numerous authori-
ties trying to get assurance that the vessel Dr. Daniels would not be seized in the
event she did enter Key West with the relatives of Derecktor Gunnell employees.
Starting with Mr. Dingfelder, in the Office of Public Relations, representing
United States Customs, and going on to Mr. Brokham of the State Department in
Washington, and on to numerous people in the Coast Guard, and finally Officer
Kaps, who is the man in charge of customs on site in Key West.
In the case of all of these individuals, with the exception of Mr. Kaps, they gave
me appropriately guarded replies, indicating that the law states that there is a
clear violation to bringing in illegal immigrants. In most cases, their off the cuff,
or off the record response, was that to the best of their knowledge, no seizures
were being made and no additional fines levied. In Mr. Kaps' instance, he indi-
cated that after the seizure of the three shrimpboats earlier in the week, there
indeed had been no further seizures, and, as far as he knew, there was no intent
to issue additional fines. As this was the report of the on the site man, I took said
report more seriously than all the others.
It was left, in fact, that the day our tug left, I was to call Mr. Kaps, at which
time he would advise whether the policy had changed in any way. Not wanting to
rest with just the assurances of the aforementioned parties, I did contact
Governor Graham's office, together with the two senators from Florida; in each
case, there was a statement of the law on their parts, and at the same time, a
guarded indication that we would probably be all right.
On Saturday, there still having been no decision made, and in the face of the
upcoming storm anticipated for Sunday, we were again approached by the Cuban
employees to see if at the very least we would allow the tug to go and help in any
rescue effort. The owner allowed that he was willing to do this, and I asked the
Coast Guard whether or not they would like the assistance of this vessel, whose
sole purpose is rescue and salvage at sea. The Coast Guard indicated they needed
no assistance and had the situation well in hand.
Finally, on Sunday, we were persuaded to make an attempt to get the relatives
of the employees from Derecktor Gunnell Shipyard. We agreed to try and pick up
91 relatives, at a cost of $250.00 each, and in the process of organizing the lists,
etc., the relatives procured an additional number of friends who were asked by
the management of Derecktor Gunnell Shipyard to pay $500.00 per person. The
net result being a total list of 148 people, and $52,750.00 was collected by Derecktor
It should be understood that as Derecktor Gunnell was perfectly aware of the
daily operating cost of the tug, running approximately $5,000.00 per day, plus
fuel of about $1,500.00 for every day she was running, that they took it upon
themselves to charge the extra people over and above the Derecktor employees,
in the amount of $500.00 per person, which amount appeared to be willingly paid.
It was understood, as the tug left on Sunday evening, with 22 representatives of
the families' members to be picked up on board, that the tug would remain in
Mariel Bay exactly one week. She cleared customs legally, and proceeded directly
to Mariel, arriving and entering the Harbor at 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday the 29th
One of the owner's representatives aboard left the tug on Saturday and on
his return to Fort Lauderdale advised that he saw no vessel nor heard of any
vessel in Mariel Bay, which had picked up any family relatives, and that, in ad-
dition, he had seen a number of buses coming down to the docks with people in
handcuffs, which supposedly were people let out of the Cuban jails, together, of
course, with a number from the Peruvian Embassay In thinking of the moral
issue of the whole matter, and in sitting down and discussing same, it was the
owner's representative's contention, and I quote, that although he might do a
humanitarian thing in bring in one Cuban mother, if however, he brought in
ten Cuban criminals and they killed two mothers in the United States, the net
loss would be one mother, and therefore, he wanted nothing further to do with it.
He advised that he would live up to his arrangement in allowing the tug to
stay until Tuesday noon, May 6th. He further confirmed this order in a radio
communication .to the Dr. Daniels at 6:00 PM on May 5th. The captain, based on
those instructions, advised roughly an hour, to an hour and a half later, the
Cuban authorities that he was going to clear Cuba on Tuesday at noon for Port
Everglades, empty; in other words, with no refugees aboard.
At 2:00 A.M. Tuesday morning, the 6th, the tug was boarded by three armed
members of the Cuban Military, who were escorted by a Cuban gunboat, and the
captain was ordered to take the vessel to a deep water pier, at which point,
fourteen busloads, bearing approximately 426 refugees, were loaded aboard. The
captain, and the owner's representatives protested vehemently, and asked for
access to the British Consulate, their vessel again being Cayman flag and a
British protectorate. This access, however, they were denied, and were told once
again, being completely surrounded by armed personnel, that they had no choice
but to load these people and get out.
On clearing the port of Mariel, the tug called the United States Coast Guard,
advised them of the circumstances, and on asking what to do, were advised to
proceed to Key West. They contacted the Coast Guard thereafter regularly every
two hours, and advised of their progress, and were met at the sea buoy out-
side of Key West by three Coast Guard cutters. There was a loud exchange be-
tween the Coast Guard cutters with the Cuban refugees aboard the tug, basically
saying "Viva Carter, Viva Carter!" and the Coast Guard cutter replying "Come
or in." Therefore, the Dr. Daniels did enter Key West, and discharged the
refugees, and within an hour was seized by Immigrations, Customs, and further
detained by the Coast Guard.
The crew, primarily from the Philippines, all licensed, professional personnel,
and in addition three crew members from Singapore-again licensed and profes-
sional, were subject to arrest, and have been detained aboard the tug, and are not
allowed to leave the tug under penalty of arrest. They were advised by Immigra-
tion on their arrival that they faced immediate deportation, and would never be
able to get visas or landing cards in the United States again. The explanation
that the captain was forced at gunpoint to load these people made no difference
whatsoever. Regardless of the fact as to how well we can substantiate the cir-
cumstances, our repeated questions as to why Dr. Daniels was the only vessel
seized, when surrounded by numerous other refugee vessels, having brought in
that day approximately 3,000 refugees, which were not arrested or seized,
brought no answers, or answers of "no comment."
Channel 6 News, on its arrival May 7th, received answers from the authorities
in the same vein; i.e. no comment as to why Dr. Daniels was the only vessel in
the port bearing the red seizure stickers.
In summary, a British flag vessel, properly registered, fully in Lloyds class.
all class certificates current, with a fully licensed and professional crew, forced
at gunpoint and against the owner's orders, to load Cuban refugees, and then
invited by the Coast Guard to Key West, has been seized and detained.
DAVID G. PARROT,
Agent for Tug Dr. Daniels.
Ms. HOLTZ3 AN. Our next witnesses will be: Charles Renfrew, the
Deputy Attorney General, who will be accompanied by David Cros-
land, the Acting Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization
Service; Ambassador Victor Palmieri. U.S. Coordinator for Refugee
Affairs; and John Macy, Director of the Federal Emergency Manage-
TESTIMONY OF CHARLES RENFREW, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL,
ACCOMPANIED BY: DAVID CROSLAND, ACTING COMMISSIONER,
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE; VICTOR
PALMIERI, U.S. COORDINATOR FOR REFUGEE AFFAIRS, ACCOM-
PANIED BY FRANK LOY, DEPUTY COORDINATOR FOR REFUGEE
AFFAIRS; AND JOHN MACY, DIRECTOR, FEDERAL EMERGENCY
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Renfrew, do you have a prepared statement ?
Mr. RENFREW. I do, Madam Chairman.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Without objection, it will be incorporated in the
record and you may summarize it for us.
Mr. RENFREW. All right.
Mr. RENFREW. The focus of my remarks, Madam Chairman and
members of the committee, are going to be on the law enforcement
responses and the procedures developed by the Department of Jus-
tice and to the Immigration and Naturalization Service to process
the entry of Cubans coming into this country.
As you noted, Mr. Crosland, who is the Acting Director of the INS,
is with me.
At the outset, I think I would like to clear some misapprehensions
that the previous witnesses may have left with this committee.
The INS has given an "intent of notice to fine" to every vessel that
has come into this country with immigrants. That is some 718 boats.
We did seize three boats on April 25 and 26, which was prior to the
departure of the Dr. Daniels.
And for the record. I might note that the President's Open Arms
speech was given on May 5 in Washington, D.C. So I see how that
could have given little comfort to anyone departing Fort Lauderdale
on April 29.
Of course I do think that it is important to understand the prob-
lems that the recent emigrations have brought to law enforcement,
because it is very important to understand that the objectives of the
Government's response are to insure, first, that the people seeking
entry into this country are lawfully entitled to do so; to provide some
orderly processing to meet their needs as well as the interest of this
country; and insofar as possible, to provide for the safety of those
individuals seeking entry into this country.
We try to do this in as humane a method as possible. Our law enforce-
ment procedures, which were announced on April 26, have been an-
nounced-April 23, excuse me-have been announced on the Spanish-
speaking radio stations, in the newspapers, and in the public statements
of the U.S. attorney in the district of Florida. They have been consist-
ent from the date announced to today. There has been no change in the
law enforcement practices.
I would like to outline at the very beginning, however, that there are
certain limits which must be considered with respect to the effectiveness
of law enforcement. Individuals obviously dissatisfied with the life
in Cuba and who are interested in joining their families are unlikely
to be deterred by the prospect of facing criminal or civil sanctions.
Those persons who are seeking to bring members of their family into
this country are likewise unlikely to be deterred from bringing people
into this country.
However, that may not be true of people who seek to profit finan-
cially from this situation. Now, of course, any criminal action that is
brought has to be brought in the courts in southern Florida, and before
juries comprised of people living in that area, and it makes it very dif-
ficult to obtain any kind of conviction there.
And for these reasons, we believe that the deterrent effect of the con-
victions would be very minimal.
Now of the statutes applicable to the situation, the most relevant
permits both criminal penalties-including imprisonment or fines-
and civil sanctions. As you know, the Immigration and Nationality Act
makes it a felony to bring into or encourage the entry into the United
States of aliens not duly admitted by Immigration officers, or not other-
wise entitled to enter or reside in this country. The immigrants so
entering are subject to prosecution, and the penalty is imprisonment
for up to 5 years or a fine of $2,000. Also, persons who bring in aliens
under these circumstances are subject to the same provisions.
Since the outset of this recent emigration, we have imposed a notice
of intent to fine all boats bringing in Cuban aliens. The fine cannot
be imposed until after a 30-day period, and as you know this emigration
started on April 21 and 30 days has not yet expired.
There are a number of other civil penalties under the Immigration
and Naturalization Act which we have available. Now, in order to
achieve our goals and objectives it is absolutely necessary for us to see
that the laws that require entry and processing at officially designated
arrival stations are fully compiled with.
Part of our enforcement process has been to insure that boats and
planes come into officially designated points of entry. Where boats have
come to unofficial points of entry, they have been seized the operators
and arrested for criminal violations.
And indeed, all individuals who brought illegal aliens into this
country have been given their notice of fine.
Now, let me tell you exactly where we are. As you know, the boat-
lift began on April 21. I think we have to bear in mind we are talking
about an operation that has been in effect just over 3 weeks.
During that time. we have brought in over 36,079 Cuban people.
They have arrived on 718 boats. Interestingly enough, 316 boats have
Now, the number of passengers vary from as few as 5 to 6 persons
to as many as 700.
The INS, after this boatlift commenced, detailed 100 border patrol
officers, and another 50 immigration inspectors and detention officers
to assist in the enforcement and inspection duties in the south Florida
area. Aircraft vehicles and communications equipment needed to sup-
port this operation were also moved into place.
As you know, we have utilized Eglin Air Force Base in Pensacola.
On May 1, and by May 3, we had a task force of another 100 immigra-
tion officers and their employees there, and they have been processing
Cubans brought from Key West.
Since May 3, the Eglin team has been increased to 164 officers and
clerks, and approximately 1000 aliens are being processed each day
by INS personnel at Eglin.
Another advance party of INS personnel has moved in to Fort
Chaffee in Arkansas on May 8. We have 150 immigration officers and
clerks who arrived this last weekend, and they've begun processing
at that location. The process we follow is this:
As boats arrive in Key West, the aliens are first inspected by immi-
gration officers. A count is taken as to all aliens, and each is inspected
with respect to admissibility into the United States. Interviews are
conducted to determine if arriving aliens have close family members
or relatives in the south Florida area.
Additional inquiry is made into the alien's background to determine,
to the extent possible, if the alien has engaged in criminal activity.
Temporary immigration documentation is issued to each alien at
that time. All persons are then moved from dockside to staging areas
from which they were transported to processing centers. At the same
time, the masters and/or owners of boats bringing Cuban aliens to
the United States were served with a notice of intent to fine in the
amount of $1,000 for each alien brought to the country without a
A copy of this notice was also given immediately to the U.S. cus-
toms officials who have the authority to deny the vessel clearance to
leave port until the fine is paid, or in lieu of payment, a bond is
Aliens having family ties in the south Florida area are then taken
directly to the Miami area by other governmental agencies or by
volunteer groups for processing.
Aliens with no family ties, and all those who may have had criminal
backgrounds, are airlifted from Key West to processing at Eglin Air
Force Base and Fort Chaffee, Ark.
At the Miami Processing Center, volunteer agencies assist INS by
helping the aliens prepare biographical data forms to be used to ob-
tain identification and security clearances. These agencies also assist
in the records procedures related to the opening of files.
Aliens are then interviewed by immigration officials who quickly
check the biographical data forms and take information concerning
the alien's application for asylum in the United States.
Various forms are then given to the alien, and the alien is then given
a 60-day parole. And during that 60-day parole period, returns on
identification and security clearances have been received, and employ-
ment is authorized for the same period.
The aliens then move on for a medical examination, and then see
representatives of other governmental agencies and volunteer groups
to arrange for resettlement in the community.
Since the aliens who are processed in Miami are those with family
ties or relatives, resettlement in Miami moves without difficulty.
At the Eglin Air Force Base and Fort Chaffee camps, the processing
principle is the same, with one exception. The exception is that the
biographical data forms received from the aliens are flown to Wash-
ington, D.C., and clearances are sought on an emergency, 48-hour
turnaround basis. The aliens there must remain in the camp until their
clearances have been received, and teletyped to INS officials at the
In the meantime, other governmental agencies and volunteer groups
conduct medical examinations and proceed with efforts to locate spon-
sors for alien resettlement.
Now aliens who have been identified as having criminal records
other than of a political, petty nature, are detained by INS officials for
further investigation. This investigation consists of obtaining secur-
ity checks and further examinations by INS officers.
During the rescreening, criminal records are more carefully defined
and some previously detained are released. For those requiring long-
term detention, arrangements are made for removal to Federal cor-
rection centers for awaiting further processing and formal hearings
relating to admission to the United States. At the present time, 421
aliens are presently so detained.
All aliens seeking admission to the United States are required by
law to be inspected. If satisfied, an immigration officer can admit and
temporarily parole an alien into the United States. Now if an alien
is not clearly admissible and chooses not to withdraw his application
for admission, the law provides he shall be detained pending the de-
termination of his admissibility.
He is entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge, at which
time the Government presents its case, and the alien is heard with the
assistance of counsel if he or she so elects. As a practical matter, the
district director, with the advice of the Department of State, will
consider all applications for asylum. If the application is approved,
asylum will be granted and the alien permitted to remain in this
If the application for asylum is denied, the alien may renew his
request for that status during the course of the hearings before the
immigration judge. If the immigration judge determines the alien is
not entitled to admission and not entitled to asylum, he can then appeal
that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Board is the
highest administrative authority in the appellate process.
However, if the Board should reject the alien's case, judicial review
on the issue of exclusion can be sought by a habeus corpus proceeding
in the United States district court, and then follows the normal ap-
This is essentially the law enforcement procedures we have been
following with respect to the processing of the alien, and with respect
to enforcement of the law with respect to the entry into this country.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Renfrew.
Mr. BUTLER. Madam Chairwoman, we did not get a copy of Judge
Renfrew's statement. I wonder if-
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Neither did I.
Mr. BUTLER. Well, I wonder if we could make Xerox copies of what
you were reading?
Mr. RENFREW. You surely may. Surely. I will see that you get
some. I was not aware that they had not been handed out.
Mr. BUTLER. Well, I wanted to do it right now.
Mr. RENFREW. Surely.
Ms. HOLTZ3AN. We will make some copies of it while the hearing
FMr. Renfrew hands his statement to the staff.]
[The prepared statement of Mr. Renfrew follows:]
STATEMENT OF CHARLES B. RENFREW, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
Madame Chairman, Members of the Committee: I am appearing here today
to discuss the ongoing Cuban emigration and the problems presented by the
manner in which that emigration has been allowed to develop by the actions of
Fidel Castro. The primary focus on my statement will, of course, be on our law
enforcement response and on the procedures developed by the Department of
Justice, through the Immigration and Naturalization Service to process the
Cubans seeking entry into this country. Accompanying me this morning is Mr.
David Crosland, Acting Director of the T&NS.
The serious concerns presented by the Cuban emigration arise because recent
actions have made impossible the orderly and reasonably regulated emigra-
tion contemplated by our own laws and by international law as well. The ob-
jectives of the Government response to these actions are to ensure that indi-
viduals seeking entry into the United States are in fact entitled to do so under
our laws, to provide for orderly processing to meet the needs of such individuals
and the interests of the United States, and, insofar as possible, to provide for the
safety of the individuals attempting to come to our shores. These objectives are
intended to ensure that the situation which has been thrust upon us will be
handled in as humane and fair a manner as possible.
Efforts are, of course, being made to establish an orderely and reasonable
rate of emigration. Our law enforcement and processing efforts have been de-
signed to accomplish the goals just outlined until regularization of the flow of
emigres can be achieved. I would like to briefly outline the law enforcement
options available to us and describe the manner in which they are being applied
to meet our goals. I will then outline the processing procedures we have estab-
lished and the results to date.
Let me first emphasize, however, that there are strict limits to the effective-
ness of any law enforcement activities we undertake. Individuals sufficiently
dissatisfied with life in their own country or sufficiently determined to join fami-
lies and/or friends to uproot themselves and travel to an alien country are
unlikely to be deterred by the prospect of facing criminal and civil sanctions.
Those acting to bring such individuals into this country are, with the exception
of those seeking to financially profit from the situation, similarly motivated by
strong family ties or deep humanitarian concerns in helping the emigres to seek
freedom and they would be equally unlikely to be deterred by such sanctions.
These perceptions would also, of course, be held by the courts and juries before
which such cases would be brought. Finally, for all these reasons, the deter-
rent effect of convictions to be obtained in the future would be minimal.
Of the various statutes arguably applicable to the current situation in Florida.
the most relevant permit both criminal penalties. including imprisonment and/or
fines, and civil sanctions, including fines and/or the forfeiture of vessels or
planes. The Immigration and Nationality Act makes it a felony to bring into.
or encourage the entry into. the United States of aliens not duly admitted by an
immigration officer or not entitled to enter or reside in the country. The aliens
so entering are also subject to prosecution. The penalty is imprisonment for up
to five years and/or a fine of $2,000. Criminal penalties may also be imposed for
certain saftey violations under statutes administered by the Coast Guard.
Another provision of the Immigration and Nationally Act provides for a civil
fine of $1,000 against persons bringing aliens without visas into the country. A
separate fine is levied for each alien brought into the country. Civil penalties
are also imposed by a variety of customs statutes designed to regulate boat
Finally, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the customs laws, and
the safety provisions, vessels or planes use in the commission of the prohibited
acts or otherwise in violation of the statutes, are subject to seizure and ultimate
In order to accomplish the goals and objectives which I discussed earlier, it
is absolutely essential that the laws requiring entry and processing at officially
designated arriving stations be fully complied with. A key part of our enforce-
ment policy is, therefore, the prosecution of boat captains and pilots of aircraft
who unload undocumented aliens at points that are not designated points of
entry. Such prosecutions will be pursued and arrests for such violations have
Next, vessel and aircraft owners, masters, captains and pilots who transport
undocumented aliens for commercial profit, who transport excessively large num-
bers of undocumented aliens in relation to the size of the craft, who make
repeated trips to transport such aliens, and who provide transportation of such
aliens in a manner creating a gross risk to life and safety will in all cases be
fined and, in appropriate circumstances, the vessels and aircraft will be seized
and the individuals involved will be prosecuted. In authorizing seizure and/or
prosecution, special weight will be given to those instances involving serious
threats to life and safety. Seizures have been made in these circumstances.
Finally, all individuals who bring aliens into the country in violation of the
law are being given a notice of fine for $1,000 for each alien.
Again, our law enforcement policies, while recognizing the limitations of law
enforcement in meeting the situation, are designed to ensure that individuals
seeking entry are in fact entitled to do so, to provide for orderly processing, and
to provide for the safety of individuals, and are designed to handle the situation
in as humane and fair a manner as possible.
Let me now turn to the processing procedures and the results we have
The Cuban boatlift began on April 21. As of this morning, 36,079 Cuban people
have arrived in the United States on 718 boats. 316 boats have returned empty.
Passenger loads have varied from as few as five or six persons to as many as
700. As the boatlift commenced, INS immediately detailed 100 Border Patrol
officers and another 50 Immigration Inspectors and Detention Officers to assist
in enforcement and inspections duties in the South Florida area. Aircraft, ve-
hicles, and communications equipment needed to support the operation was moved
into place. The Regional Commissioner, Southern Region, Dallas, Texas, went
to his Miami district office and assumed direct command of the South Florida
operations of INS. An advance party of Service personnel arrived at Eglin on
May 1 and by May 3, a task force of 100 immigration officers and clerical employ-
ees had arrived and were ready to process Cubans brought there from Key
West. Since May 3, the Eglin team has been increased to 104 officers and clerks.
Close to 1,000 aliens are being processed each day by INS personnel at Eglin.
Another advance party of INS personnel moved into Fort Chaffee, Arkansas on
May 8. Another 150 immigration officers and clerks arrived at Fort Chaffee over
the weekend and have begun processing aliens at that location.
As boats arrive at Key West, aliens are first inspected by immigration officers.
A count is taken as to all aliens and each is inspected with respect to admissi-
bility to the United States. Interviews are conducted to determine if arriving
aliens have close family members or relatives in the South Florida area. Addi-
tional inquiry is made as to the alien's background to determine to the extent
possible if the alien has been engaged in criminal conduct. Temporary immigra-
tion documentation is issued to each alien at that time. All persons are then
moved from dockside to staging areas from which they will be transported to
processing centers. At the same time, masters and/or owners of boats bringing
Cuban aliens to the United States are served with a notice of intention to fine
in the amount of $1,000 for each alien brought to the United States without a
valid visa. A copy of the notice is furnished immediately to the U.S. Customs
officials who have authority to deny the vessel clearance to leave port until the
fine is paid or in lieu of payment a deposit or bond is posted. Aliens having
68-726 0 81 3
family ties In the South Florida area are then transported directly to the Miami
area by other Government agencies or volunteer groups for processing.
Aliens with no family ties and all those who may have criminal backgrounds
are being airlifted from Key West to processing camps at Eglin Air Force Base,
Florida and Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.
At the Miami processing center, volunteer agencies assist INS by helping
aliens prepare biographic data forms to be used to obtain identification and
security clearances. Those agencies also assist in the records procedures relating
to the opening of files. Aliens are then interviewed by immigration officers who
quickly check the biographic data forms and take information concerning the
alien's application for asylum in the United States. The alien is furnished an
Immigration document authorizing parole status in the United States for a period
of 60 days at the end of which the alien must return for further inspection re-
garding admissibility. During the 60-day period, returns on the identification
and security clearances will have been received. Employment is authorized for
the same 60-day period. Aliens then move on for medical examination and thence
to representatives of other Government agencies and volunteer groups which
arrange for resettlement into the community. Since the aliens processed at Miami
are those with family ties or relatives there, the resettlement process moves along
At the Eglin Air Force Base and Fort Chaffee camps, the processing principle
Is the same with one exception. The exception is that biographic data forms re-
ceived from the aliens are flown daily to Washington, D.C. and clearances are
sought on an emergency 48-hour turn around basis. Aliens remain in camp until
clearances have been received and teletyped to INS officials at the camps. In the
meantime, other Government agencies and volunteer groups have conducted
medical examinations and proceeded with efforts to locate sponsors for alien
resettlement. When security clearances have been received and sponsorship de-
termined, the alien may be released from the camps for resettlement. A similar
60-day parole has been authorized by INS as has employment authorization for
a like period.
Aliens who are identified as having criminal records of other than a political
or petty nature, are detained by INS officials for further investigation. Investi-
gation consists of obtaining security checks and further examination by INS
officers. During this rescreening process, criminal records are more carefully de-
fined and some previously detained are released. For those requiring long-term
detention, arrangements are made for removal to Federal correction centers
awaiting further processing and formal hearings related to admissibility to the
United States. 421 aliens are presently so detained.
All aliens seeking admission to the United States are required by law to be
inspected. If satisfied, an immigration officer can admit or temporarily parole
an alien into the United States. If the alien is not clearly admissible and chooses
not to withdraw his application for admission, the law provides that he shall
be detained pending a determination of admissibility. He is entitled to a hearing
before an immigration judge at which time the Government presents its case and
the alien is heard with the assistance of counsel if he elects.
As a practical matter, the district director with the advice of the Department
of State will consider all applications for asylum. Obviously if the application
is approved, asylum will be granted and the alien will be allowed to remain in
the United States. If the application for asylum is denied, the alien may renew
his request for that status during the course of the hearing before the immigra-
tion judge. If the immigration judge determines that the alien is not entitled
to admission to the United States and is not entitled to asylum, the alien may
appeal that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Board is the
highest administrative authority in the appellate process. Should the alien's case
bhe rejected by the Board, judicial review on the issue of exclusion can be sought
in a habeas corpus proceeding in the appropriate U.S. District Court. There may
then follow the usual judicial appellate review.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes this prepared statement.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The next witness will be Ambassador Victor Pal-
mieri. We do have a copy of your testimony, and without objection it
will bo incorporated in full in the record.
[The complete statement of Ambassador Palmieri follows:]
TESTIMONY OF VICTOR H. PALMIERI, U.S. COORDINATOR FOR REFUGEE AFFAIRS
Madam Chairwoman and Members of the Subcommittee: I appreciate the
opportunity to discuss the situation in South Florida and the important policy
issues raised by the sudden influx of Cubans arriving by boat at Key West.
Coming at a time when Americans are increasingly concerned about our own
economy-about jobs, housing and inflation-the Cuban emergency presents an
extraordinary challenge to the City of Miami and to Dade County, to the State
of Florida and to the Government of the United States. It also tests our na-
tion's compassion for the oppressed and our tradition as a haven for the perse-
cuted, whatever their country of origin, whatever their race or color.
I want this Committee and the country to understand three things about the
why it is happening;
what we are doing about it; and
how we are moving to solve it.
First, let me begin by stating the policy of the U.S. Government in responding
to this emergency.
Our policy is based on three principles. The first is that we will offer asylum
to persons claiming well-founded fear of persecution in their country of origin
while their claims are being considered and while an international response is
The second principle is that we will seek ways to make the flow from Cuba
safe, orderly and in accordance with our immigration laws.
The third principle is that this problem is an international one, affecting many
nations, and we will seek to involve other nations along with international agen-
cies in its solution.
In 1973, Fidel Castro cut off the freedom flight program, leaving stranded in
Cuba over 100,000 people approved for emigration to the United States. He is
still toying with the lives and aspirations of those people and their relatives in
this country. Now he has restarted the flow, but in a most hazardous and cruel
fashion. He dangles family members as bait to lure U.S. citizens in their own
boats across dangerous waters to the Cuban port of Mariel. There he may or may
not produce the relatives sought, but he insists that the boats return loaded with
other individuals, many having no family at all in the United States, and some
with criminal records. In the last few days, many boats have returned empty
from Mariel, as the Cuban authorities have been unable to keep up with the
requests of anxious relatives and have resorted to profiteering through out-
rageous charges for food and water.
The first concern of the United States has been the safety of the individuals-
both Cubans and Americans-caught up in this exodus. We have augmented the
Coast Guard detachment that patrols the Florida straits, and we have called off
planned military maneuvers so that naval ships can aid'in search and rescue. We
have continued citing for fines the returning boats, to discourage further danger-
Our second concern has been the processing and care of those people arriving
on our shores. A sudden exodus of this type has become sadly familiar in the
world today. Like dozens of other countries, the United States must now learn
to be effective as a country of first asylum-meaning that we provide temporary
refuge and care while the full dimensions of the international response to this
tragic situation are being worked out.
This is the third major exodus from Cuba since Castro overthrew the Batista
Government in 1959 when great numbers of Cubans fled to the United States,
settling for the most part in Miami.
In 1965 a similar boat exodus began, but after many lives were lost in the
Straits, the Castro regime agreed to the U.S. freedom flights program which
carried over 250,000 Cubans to the United States over the next eight years. Since
1959, over 800,000 Cubans have been welcomed to this country, and much of
Miami's vibrant economic growth is due to their talents and their energies.
The massive defection from Cuba that we are now witnessing is rooted in
several years of deepening economic as well as political frustration. Recent
severe problems in sugar and tobacco production-Cuba's two major agricul-
tural industries-have contributed to the difficulties of providing adequate eco-
nomic and educational opportunities for a young and rapidly growing labor force.
The result has been a rising tide of restlessness and disaffection, particularly
among those Cubans with relatives in the United States who continually face a
harsh contrast with their own bleak lifestyle and even bleaker expectations for
Since 1979, Cubans have been seeking political asylum at the Embassies of
Peru and Venezuela in Havana. In recent months, some of the efforts to gain
entry to these Embassies involved using trucks or buses literally to crash into
the Embassy grounds. The guards posted by the Cuban authorities outside the
Peruvian Embassy were withdrawn on April 4 by Cuba in reaction to the death
of a Cuban guard who had been shot during an attempt by Cubans to crash into
that Embassy's compound. The Cuban government removed its guards and
announced that all those who wished to seek Peruvian visas would be free to
The reaction in Havana was explosive and within days, over 10,000 people
were camped within the Embassy compound and surrounding lots, the majority
of them men, but also including many women and children, all without adequate
food and sanitary facilities. As health conditions worsened, and as it became
clear that Peru might not be able to resettle all the refugees, Costa Rica inter-
vened to offer a staging area for reset tlement processing.
The U.S. Government responded immediately by invoking the emergency pro-
visions of the Refugee Act of 1980. Because Congress was in recess at the time.
and because of the increasingly desperate situation in the compound, consulta-
tions were carried on by telephone with the ranking members of the House and
Senate Judiciary Committees. On April 14, President Carter signed a determina-
tion to admit up to 3,500 Cuban refugees from the Peruvian Embassy and to fund
transportation and other costs through a $4.25 million drawdown from the
Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund. Our policy was explicitly
based on the fact that we would be cooperating in an international effort with
adequate opportunity for prescreening in Costa Rica to ensure compliance with
U.S. immigration laws.
It may be useful to note that at this same time we were preparing for con-
sultations with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on refugee admis-
sions for fiscal year 1980 as well as for related hearings before the appropriation
committees of both Houses. Subsequently the 3,500 additional Cuban admissions
involved in the emergency process were included in the presentation before this
committee on April 22 and 30 relating to our proposal to admit a total of 231,700
refugees (including a total of 19.500 Cubans) from all countries.
As a result of President Carter's action, resettlement offers totaling 6,750
were received in the next few days'from countries as follows:. Costa Rica-300;
Ecuador-200; Peru-1,000; Spain-500; United States-3,500; Federal Republic
of Germany-400; Canada-300; Venezuela-500; and Austria-50.
Accordingly, a team from the State Department's Refugee Bureau and INS
proceeded to San Jose, Costa Rica, on April 17 to help prepare the processing.
Representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the
Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration were also involved. From
April 14 to April 18, flights from Havana carried about 1,000 refugees to Costa
Rica, over half of whom subsequently were taken to Peru. Suddenly, however,
on the 18th, Castro suspended the airlift, declaring that henceforth only flights to
countries of final destination for the refugees would be permitted.
Costa Rica reacted by generously offering to accept all the remaining refugees
in the Peruvian Embassy compound, after receiving assurances from the United
States Government that we would continue to use our best efforts to secure addi-
tional resettlement offers from other countries.
Apparently this was the last straw in a mounting series of embarrassments
for the Castro regime, and on the evening of April 20, it announced that all
Cubans who wished to emigrate to the United States were free to board boats
at the port of Mariel, some 20 miles out of Havana.
This time emotions exploded simultaneously in Havana and in the Cuban com-
munity in Miami. As many as 200.000 to 300.000 of the more than / million
Cubans in Miami have relatives in Cuba. Many of these Cuban American suffered
bitter disappointment when the freedom flights were cut off by Castro in 1973
and they have been waiting anxiously since then for the opportunity to bring
their family members to this country.
Within 24 hours after news of Castro's announcement had been broadcast by
the Spanish language radio stations in Miami, flotillas of pleasure boats and
small craft of all types were streaming across the 90 miles of the Florida straits
to take on board waiting relatives and others at Mariel. They then returned to
Key West where they were registered by officers of the Immigration and Natural-
ization Service and taken to Miami by car or bus.
From the start it was evident that the Cuban authorities were following a
deliberate policy of forcing acceptance of several non-relatives for every relative
taken on board. These non-relatives included individuals claiming to have taken
refuge in the Peruvian Embassy as well as others released from a variety of
institutions, including many with criminal records.
Arrivals during the first week climbed steadily from a few hundred a day to
over a thousand a day, and reached a total of 36,764 by May 12.
Volunteers from the Miami Cuban community, working with county officials,
quickly set up a processing center at Tamiami Park, where agents of the INS,
the FBI and the Public Health Service were installed along with voluntary
agencies including the U.S. Catholic Conference, the International Rescue Com-
mittee, Church World Service, and the Red Cross.
The first boat arrived at Key West on April 21. The next day, April 22, the
first meeting of a Presidential Review Committee was convened at the White
House to coordinate activities and policy. The Coast Guard was deployed to pro-
vide search and rescue, surveillance missions and safety inspection and has since
been involved in over 500 search and rescue operations. On April 23, the Refugee
Bureau's Latin American Officer arrived in Miami from Costa Rica. On April 25
a meeting of a broad cross section of Miami's Cuban leadership was convened at
the State Department. On April 26, I met with Governor Graham in Tallahassee
and state and local officials in Miami. On April 27, the Federal Emergency Man-
agement Agency established a federal coordinating team in Miami. Since that
time, over 1,500 Federal officials have been concentrated in south Florida, repre-
senting the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Border Patrol, Customs,
the Coast Guard, the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, Health and Human
Services, Labor and the General Services Administration.
President Carter, on April 30, ordered that naval vessels scheduled for maneu-
vers at Guantanamo should be redeployed to provide additional protection for the
boat flotillas, and at the request of Governor Graham of Florida the President on
May 6 declared a state of emergency for South Florida. Concurrently, he approved
a drawdown totalling $10 million from the refugee emergency fund to be used
to reimburse voluntary organizations and community institutions for resettlement
On May 3, the Federal Emergency Management Team established a processing
center with capacity for 10,000 at Eglin Air Force Base near Pensacola, served
by an air shuttle from Key West. An additional processing facility has been acti-
vated at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas with capacity for 20.C00.
When undocumented aliens arrive at Key West, they are given preliminary
screening by an interagency group representing the Immigration and Naturaliza-
tion Service, the FBI and other agencies, in accordance with the requirements of
the Immigration and Nationality Act. If in the course of this screening, informa-
tion is obtained indicating that they may be a threat to the community, they are
detained pending a more thorough investigation. Out of the first 26,300 who have
arrived from Cuba, approximately 425 have ben detained by federal authorities.
While it is true that some of the persons arriving from Cuba have criminal
records it must be recognized that the repressive aspects of the Cuban regime
make it very easy for persons to be jailed for offenses that would be considered
minor or even non-criminal in this country.
After initial screening, readily sponsored family units and unaccompanied
juveniles are transferred to Miami for final processing and placement. Unaccom-
panied males and unsponsored family units are transferred to the Eglin or Fort
Chaffee facilities for additional processing and placement.
All arrivals are medically screened as required by law under the general direc-
tion of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Public Health
Service. Those persons found to have a medical condition requiring treatment are
provided that treatment. If hospitalization is needed, it is arranged through either
Public Health Service facilities, military hospitals or local general hospitals.
Those persons with family members in Florida are being released on their
personal recognizance until inspection is completed by INS and their claim for
political asylum, if any, is reviewed by the Department of Justice and the Depart-
ment of State. During this period they are authorized to work, but have only
limited access to federal benefits, principally food stamps. Those persons who do
not have family ties in South Florida are provided for at Eglin and Fort Chaffee
while sponsorships are arranged for them in other areas.
The general federal policy is to reunite relatives with family members al-
ready in the United States and to relocate, outside of Florida to the extent prac-
tical, those who have no relatives in the United States. We are also attempting
to generate offers for the resettlement of some of these persons in other countries.
By May 12, cumulative arrivals reached 36,764. With 1,500 Loats reported
standing by for loading at Mariel and with boat departures from Florida con-
tinuing (although at a decreasing rate), we can expect to have a total of 50 to
60,000 arrivals by the end of May.
The task of receiving this massive number of arrivals each day, providing
preliminary screening, then transporting them either by bus to Miami or by
airlift to Eglin or Fort Chaffee, establishing adequate processing with the fed-
eral and voluntary agencies and then arranging for resettlement movements to
points of final destination, has tested the resources and the energies of the Cuban
community in Miami, the state and local officials and all the agencies of the fed-
eral government. For three weeks now, many of those involved have been work-
ing around the clock. While state and local agencies and the volunteers bore
the brunt of the impact in the first two weeks, I believe that the federal govern-
ment has responded well to an extraordinarily complex set of logistical and law
enforcement problems, made even more difficult by the intense emotional environ-
ment in Miami's Cuban-American community.
The Refugee Act of 1980 did not contemplate a situation of the kind we are now
facing, nor does it appear to provide an adequate response to such a problem-a
country expelling its people directly to the United States. Similarly, neither our
criminal laws nor the customs and immigration laws offer an effective means
of controlling what is essentially a community-wide response based on deep emo-
tions arising out of long-awaited family reunification and intense fears for the
safety of loved ones. At the same time, these arrivals are clearly in violation of
our immigration laws and thus they offer an invitation to others to follow Cas-
In carrying out the operational aspects of our policy, therefore, both as a prac-
tical necessity and as a reflection of our national character and tradition, we
have had to balance humanitarian concerns-safety of the Cubans and family
reunification-with respect for our laws and the welfare of the entire nation.
Thus the Coast Guard has assisted the flotillas and avoided untold loss of life
through its efforts while the Immigration and Naturalization Service has sought
to maintain the immigration laws by issuing citations to over 600 arriving boats,
making boat captains subject to fines of $1000 for every undocumented alien
aboard. During these last three weeks, our principal objectives have been to pro-
mote safety, direct the flow to controlled points at Key West and maintain INS
preliminary inspection and screening of arrivals.
At the same time, we have been consulting with other governments to pursue
efforts toward negotiating with the Cuban authorities for a safe and orderly flow
on the model of the freedom flights which ended in 1973. At the invitation of
President Carazo of Costa Rica, an international conference was held Thursday
and Friday in San Jose on the subject of the exodus from Cuba. Representatives
of 21 nations, the Holy See and seven international organizations participated.
The objectives of the conference were to internationalize the response to the
Cuban refugee exodus, including the situations that have developed at the U.S.
Interests Section and the Peruvian Embassy in Havana, and the boat flow. The
conferees agreed on five major topics:
The recognition of the international character of the problem;
The need for all governments, including those not represented at San
Jose, to join their efforts to establish a program for resettlement for those
wishing to leave Cuba and for financial relief. To this end, the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Intergovernmental Com-
mittee for European Migration were asked to make an emergency plea for
offers of assistance;
The prompt commitment by a number of countries' at the conference itself,
of resettlement and financial resources;
The formation of a group of countries, including the United States, which
will jointly and individually seek the cooperation of the Cuban Government
in finding a mutually satisfactory solution to this urgent problem; and
The agreement to maintain continuing cognizance of the problem and to
convene another meeting in the near future to review progress made and to
consider any additional measures required to bring about a solution.
Another aspect of our attempt to internationalize the problem has been to
involve the UNHCR. The United States had invited the UNHCR to screen the
files of all Cubans in the United States requesting asylum status (just as the
UNHCR now performs the same function with respect to Haitians). It is our
hope that the UNHCR will coordinate the international response to obtain
resettlement opportunities for the Cubans, and obtain funds to assist in the
provision of care and maintenance.
Although we now have a policy and organization in place for coping with
the present emergency, we face an evolving situation in which we must be pre-
pared to react quickly and to make adjustments. Rather than devoting our en-
ergies to hindsight analyses of what we have done so far, we must prepare for
what may be a long-term effort of receiving, processing, and assimilating Cubans
and other groups who are entitled to asylum into our country. The difficulty we
face is that we are at one of those unusual points in time where we have neither
precedents nor legislation to guide us adequately through the coming months.
As I noted earlier, the Refugee Act of 1980 was not written to cope with a crisis
of the kind we are now facing. Moreover, while the United States has consider-
able experience in working with other nations of first asylum, we have never
had to cope, until now, with the problems of a first-asylum nation facing a sud-
den large-scale influx of people fleeing from another country, many of whom
we know little or nothing about.
There are no easy solutions to the problems we face. We must prepare care-
fully and deliberately, for the decisions we take today will affect our ability
to cope with the demands of millions of people throughout the world who seek
a better life and who see residence in the United States as synonymous with
hope for a better future for themselves and their children.
The Refugee Act of 1980 eliminates the ideological and geographic restrictions
of the old law. No longer do our statutes give an automatic preference to persons
fleeing from communism. We are fully committed in the long run to the goal
of equity for all refugees reflected in the new legislation.
But as we remain committed to the long-run goal of equity, we also embrace
another key premise of the new Refugee Act. It provides a process for deter-
mining an annual ceiling on the number of refugees brought to the United States
for permanent resettlement. That process is not inconsistent with affording tem-
porary refuge to all the needy people now reaching Florida. Once the full dimen-
sions of the Cuban exodus and the world community's response becomes known,
we will consult with the Congress about adjustments in our worldwide refugee
admission plans, to take account of those Cubans and others who will perma-
nently resettle here.
We will also seek funding from the Congress to provide both temporary aid
for all arrivals and permanent resettlement for some. The emergency funding
now being used will soon dry up. The prospect of higher outlays is painful at
a time when our budgets have already been cut to fight inflation. But our humani-
tarian tradition demands no less. We will also include other legislative proposals
to help resolve promptly the immigration status of these and other groups in
Florida seeking political asylum.
This past week we have carried on discussions with both state and local of-
ficials and with members of the Miami Cuban community seeking their coopera-
tion in restraining the boat flow while we attempt to arrange for an orderly
departure program through this international effort. Continued voyages to Mariel
only encourage Castro in his current reckless policy. In the meantime, those
reaching Florida and seeking asylum will be provided for while their immigra-
tion status is resolved and permanent resettlement, either in this country or
elsewhere, is arranged. We will open federal facilities as necessary to keep pace
with the flow. We will perform thorough screening and arrange for prompt re-
lease to their families of those arrivals with close relatives. Let there be no mis-
take: the United States will marshall its resources to afford temporary refuge-
whatever Castro chooses to do at Mariel, no matter how many he sends, and for
as long as lihe wants to be responsible for the deaths that will inevitably result.
Mr. PALIMIEI. Thank you.
Let me be brief, because I know the time is pressing on the
First of all, I think that it is important to place this review of the
situation in the context of the problem. I think we tend to get away
from the problem, or at least to focus on it as if it were all our problem.
I want to suggest that, while we have a difficult problem, in fact we
have an emergency on our hands which is requiring all the best efforts
of our State, and local, and Federal officials.
I think that we need to remember that the reason we had this prob-
lem is that it represents a deliberate, calculated effort on the part of
an embattled dictator to divert both the attention of the world and
the attention of his own people from pressing, internal problems.
Ladies and gentlemen of this committee, I suggest to you that this
is a form of guerrilla warfare, using people as bullets, and it needs
to be seen as such. Castro has a stagnant economy on his hands, has
low productivity, but most importantly he has an increasing, spread-
ing demoralization among his population.
The greatest mistake that he made was to have 100,000 American
Cubans visit Cuba in 1979. The effect has been devastating on the
mood of the Cuban people who have faced the contrast with their own
bleak lifestyle and their own bleak expectations for the future.
Second, the release of political prisoners has put large numbers of
confirmed dissidents on the streets of Havana.
And third, the episode in the Peruvian Embassy literally produced
a convulsion in Cuba. You cannot underestimate the destabilizing ef-
fects of the rush of 10,000 people into that compound, and the effects
it has had on Castro's relationships with some of his most important
contacts in Latin America-with Peru, with Venezuela, with Costa
The situation at the port of Mariel, the flow of the boat flotillas to
Key West, is a sign of an emotional frenzy in the American Cuban com-
munity in Miami born of long-deferred hopes for family reunification,
and for the deepest emotions surrounding the safety of loved ones.
But it is also a sign of disintegration in Cuba. And we should
remember, as we confront this. emergency, that it is the reflection of
the deepest problems in Cuba. And, in how we react, the emotional
climate in which we bring our policy to bear, and the factors that we
consider and the judgments that we make, we need to recognize that
this is not a problem to which there are easy answers.
It is not even a problem in which the mobilization of the entire
Federal Government within a 2-week period will pose any easy answers
or any easy solutions. There are not enough Army camps, or other
Defense Department establishments in the United States to house all
the people of Cuba who may want to leave.
So we face some very, very difficult options, some very difficult
They come at a time when the plight of those Haitians who have
sought refuge here over the past few years is being raised as an issue
of racism. In fact, we have a context and a tradition in which this
emergency is taking place which many people either do not under-
stand, or have lost sight of.
On the one hand, we have had a tradition of 20 years' standing to
offer refuge and asylum to those fleeing persecution in Castro's Cuba.
On the other hand, we have sought to enforce our immigration laws, as
Congress has dictated, against those who enter the country illegally.
And Congress has denied benefits to those who come here to our own
shores solely seeking asylum. That was not an accident. That was the
result of the cruel fact that the easy access to refugee benefits for those
who would rush to our shores from foreign lands, or for those whom
a dictator might choose to expel, left us, in our generosity, in the awk-
ward position of tempting people in other countries to do what they
otherwise would not do-use us as the depository of human cargo.
Congress had those things clearly in mind when it made asylum an
isolated instance, subject to case-by-case processing, and usually lim-
ited in its scope to individuals. And even for that reason, made it
clear in the enactment of the Refugee Acts of 1980, that it wanted to
see no more use of the Attorney General's parole power for mass and
sudden admissions, as had been the pattern of our response to refugee
emergencies over a 20-year period.
Unless we keep that context in mind, it seems to me that we get ter-
ribly confused about human rights issues, about open hands and open
hearts, about refugee policy, and about law enforcement.
We have a difficult emergency on our hands, perhaps as difficult as
any domestic crisis which we have ever faced. It has a strong and
dangerous international element to it. It has tested the embattled
officials and all the resources of our community in Dade County, on
up to Governor Graham's administration. They have performed
I think that the Federal Government has responded very well, that
it has brought together in a short space of time a substantial and effec-
tive management operation. And I am not in the least bit apologetic
or ashamed about any aspect of what this Government has tried to
do in this emergency.
I do not claim success for the result. I simply claim the effort.
The result is produced, and will only be produced, by a combination
of international activity and determination on our part to constrict
these flows; to gain the cooperation of the Miami Cuban-American
community; and finally, to create a system of orderly departures simi-
lar to that which we were able to create in 1965 and which brought
many Cubans to this country, Cubans who are now proudly claimed
So that, Ms. Holtzman, your plan is a good plan. It is so good that
we have been in the process of implementing it before you announced
it. We have condemned Cuba, and we have sought the cooperation of
all the Latin countries to internationalize the problem.
We have just concluded a conference in San Jose, Costa Rica with
21 nations, with the Holy See as an observer, and with 7 international
agencies. Through the good offices of President Caratzo of Costa Rica
who issued the invitation and who orchestrated the conference we per-
formed, I think, a minor miracle in succeeding in having that many
countries agree on short notice that this was an international problem,
that there should be contributions made on the part of the interna-
tional community to resettlement of Cubans worldwide, and to finan-
We agreed that a delegation should go do Havana from the confer-
ence. And that we should continue to seek to internationalize a prob-
lem which left unattended can only spread tensions in the Caribbean
and the whole hemisphere.
It is not productive to discuss the terms of all our negotiations with
the Latin countries. They pose difficult problems in the volatile context
of Latin domestic politics. But I assure this committee that that part
of the effort is going on, and we are bringing every diplomatic energy
and effort we can to that outcome.
And finally, we are seeking actively every day since the start of this
crisis to involve the Miami Cuban-American community in exactly the
manner Ms. Holtzman has requested; namely, a moratorium on these
domestic departures, in the interests of managing this flow and con-
stricting it, so that we would have something to deal with in terms of
ultimate negotiations with the Cuban authorities.
As long as they can run roughshod over our immigration laws, we
are in the toughest negotiating position.
Now, we recognize-and I hope this committee will recognize-the
immense difficulties of an aggressive enforcement posture in a situa-
tion where controlling the flow is difficult for the reasons which the
chairwoman has pointed out. But we place great importance in con-
trolling certain elements which are entering the country with this flow.
We have to get and maintain control at Key West. We cannot
scatter these arrivals surreptitiously by night along the Florida Keys
or along the Florida coast. We must have them come through inspec-
tion, we must have them come through lawful processing.
And so finally, our policy has to be viewed in the context of our
overall refugee program which this committee knows full well involves
admitting this year 232,000 people from all over the world at a cost
of almost $1.7 billion to this Nation at the Federal, State, and local
level, all with full benefits.
We have three principles with respect to this emergency on which
our policy is based.
The first is that we will offer asylum to persons claiming well-
founded fear of persecution in their country of origin while their
claims are being considered, and while an international response is
being developed. Issues of status and benefits which have drastic im-
pacts on our own people will be decided after consultation with the
Congress and particularly with the Committee on the Judiciary. We
will not decide prematurely. We will not decide emotionally. We will-
decide carefully and calmly. It will not be in our national interest if
we are pushed into a quick determination of refugee status, and
thereby offer a strategy, an easy strategy, for any regime which seeks
to expel large numbers of dissidents.
Second, we will seek a system of departures from Cuba that is safe,
humane, orderly, in accordance with our immigration laws, and which
recognizes the tradition of family reunification.
Third, we will follow the principle that this problem is an inter-
national one affecting many nations. We are involving other nations
along with international agencies in pursuit of its solution.
I ask the committee to consider these points in relating to our re-
sponse to this emergency, and to the extraordinarily difficult issues that
are raised by the emotions surrounding the problem, no matter what
the view of the solution is.
Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Palmieri.
Our next witness is John Macy, who is the Director of the Federal
Emergency Management Agency. Mr. Macy, I understand you do not
have a written statement, but I would hope you would give us a very
brief analysis of what your agency is engaged in at this point.
Mr. MACY. Madam Chairman, I will try to be the master of brevity
as well as the master of disaster. As the previous witnesses have indi-
cated, the Federal Government is faced with an emergency of major
proportions. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was cre-
ated about a year ago by the President in order to bring together the
various emergency management agencies of the Federal Government,
and to provide a single voice and a point of coordination for Federal
activities in the event of an emergency.
In this particular case, the President requested that this agency
serve in the capacity for which it was intended by providing for the
more than a dozen Federal agencies that were involved in the emer-
gency the necessary management support, so that they could function
effectively on an interrelated basis in response to the conditions of the
emergency that existed.
It was a desire on the part of the administration to have a point of
reference for State and local governments, those who were bearing a
large portion of the burden in the initial stages of this emergency, and
to provide the means for communicating in a consolidated way with
the communities in which the emergency was existing.
The means for carrying out this particular purpose were initiated
as early as April 25, when a representative of the agency was assigned
to Miami to work with the other Federal agencies, and the State and
local authorities that were already engaged in carrying out their re-
sponsibilities with respect to those refugees who were arriving.
Two days later, at the request of the White House, I designated a
Federal coordinator to take over in Miami to exercise the Federal
management responsibility. Mr. Thomas Casey served in that capacity.
I believe, Madam Chairman, you met him during your visit to South
As each additional facility was brought into operation in order to
perform its particular function in this emergency process, additional
Federal coordinators were designated-reporting to Mr. Casey-so
that we had an administrative structure that was able to respond to
various problems that arose in dealing with this very volatile and
uncertain operation. Specially tailored management features had to
be designed for an operation where the arrivals from Cuba were
unpredictable. It was necessary that we deal with those arriving in a
humane and efficient fashion, in order to make certain that they were
handled in accordance with the law, and that they had the necessary
services and consideration that they were seeking in coming to the
Because of the magnitude of the flow, it has been necessary, through
the cooperation of the Department of Defense and the General Services
Administration, to seek out additional facilities. Those facilities have
been activated, rehabilitated, equipped and staffed in record time in
order to deal with the number of people who have arrived.
Because of the severe impact of this emergency upon the State of
Florida, Governor Graham requested that President Carter declare
this an emergency under the Disaster Relief Act, Public Law 93-288.
The President responded on May 6, in so declaring. Equipped with ad-
ditional authority and that additional directive, the Federal Emer-
gency Management Agency extended its collaboration in dealing with
both the State and Federal authorities.
As of midnight last night, the report from the Federal coordinator
is that 26,764 Cubans have been received in Key West; that 906 came
in the preceding 24 hours, which contrasted with in excess of 5,000
the previous day, 247 on Saturday and an average from 3,000 to 4,000
a day in the preceding week.
The influx has necessitated the provision of additional processing
centers in order not to have an excessive density either at Key West
or at Miami. There are, at the present time, 21,360 Cubans in the proc-
essing operation. This means that roughly 14,800 have already been
The great bulk of those are the individuals who came with family
already in the United States, primarily in southern Florida. The re-
maining 21,000 are those that are in the various centers at Eglin, Miami
and Chaffee and are in process. When they complete this processing
they will enter the resettlement stage themselves.
Madam Chairman, the purpose of this agency has been to serve as
the manager and coordinator of the Federal effort and as a point of
contact with other government levels and with the private sector. In
my judgment, this has been a remarkable achievement in a relatively
short period of time, and although there have been problems, I believe
those problems have been solved with dispatch and that, in fact, this
mission has been carried out with both compassion and efficiency.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you.
Mr. Crosland, do you have anything you would like to add?
Mr. CROSLAND. No.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. First I'd just like to get some facts straight for
the record. There seems to be a disparity with respect to the number
Mr. MACY. My diction may have been poor. I said 36,764 as of mid-
night last night.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. There still is a discrepancy.
Mr. MACY. I think there's a minor discrepancy. They ,re based on
different reporting deadlines used by the two agencies.
Ms. HOLTrZMAN. How many of the 36,000 arrivals from Cuba have
close family relatives here? And how many came in response to spe-
cific requests from Cuban-Americans?
Mr. CROSLAND. Ms. Holtzman, if you use the figure of those who are
processed in Miami, the figure that have been processed by INS thus
far are 20,054. That is our figure as of 7 o'clock this morning.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I am not asking about persons processed, Mr. Cros-
land, I am asking what percentage of the 36,000 arrivals have close
family relatives ?
Mr. CROSLAND. What I am saying is that the formula for deciding
who goes to Miami is whether they have close family relatives or
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I see.
Mr. CROSLAND. And based on the Miami processing, you can take a
figure in the neighborhood of in excess of 20.000 now who have close
family relatives who are processed in Miami. The others have been
sent to Eglin and Fort Chafee.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What do you mean by "close family members"?
Mr. CROSLAND. It would be a direct family relationship.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Aunts, cousins?
Mr. CROSLAND. I'm not sure about an aunt or cousin, how distant a
cousin would be, but there would be people who have relatives in
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Well, relatives is different from close family in
terms of the immigration laws.
Mr. CROSLAND. Well, we are not making it on the basis of immigra-
tion laws. It is a practical distinction made as to looking to resettle-
ment and the likelihood that he can find- not resettlement, but the
likelihood that we can find these people because they have some roots
in the community and we can get them back in for further processing.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. So the 20,000 are persons with any relatives in this
Mr. CROSLAND. I'm sorry?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The 20,000 figure represents the persons coming
here from Cuba who have relatives in the United States.
Mr. CROSLAND. Yes.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Do you have any figures as to what percentage of
that 20,000 came in response to a request from Cuban-Americans?
Mr. CROSLAND. No, I really don't. We may be able to recap that at
some future date through the biographical data or the interviews, but
I cannot guarantee you we will be able to.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Of the 16,000 remaining, what is the percentage of
those who have criminal felony records?
Mr. CROSLAND. Of the 16,000 remaining, we have identified, as of
this morning, 421, which is roughly a half of 1 percent.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Have any of the 20,000 been released who have a
felony record ?
Mr. CROSLAND. I am not aware of anybody who was released who
had a felony record-felony records who admit to having committed
crimes which would be crimes in this country.
There are people who were released who committed some acts against
the government, criticized the government, but I am not aware that
we consciously released anyone who admitted to having committed a
crime which would make them excludable under the immigration
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What percentage have admitted committing crimes
that amount to misdemeanors under our laws? Not political offenses,
Mr. CROSLAND. I do not have that figure with me. I can submit it for
the record for you. Anybody who admitted to a crime at Key West, or
whose document is so marked, are interrogated much more closely,
when they arrive up at Eglin and Fort Chafee.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Do you have the total of those people who have
admitted to any crimes, any offenses?
Mr. CROSLAND. No; I do not. I only have those who are in detention.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I think it would be important for this committee
to know that.
Mr. CROSLAND. Some of those are political-type crimes, but I will
endeavor to get a number for you which reflects both political and
[The information follows:]
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE,
Washington, D.C., June 2, 1980.
Hon. ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN,
Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and International Law,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MS. CHAIRWOMAN: You have expressed an interest in being advised as to
the total number of Cuban aliens identified as having prior criminal records and
within that group the number physically detained. In addition, you wish to know
the number of those not detained and the nature of their offenses.
As of the morning of May 30, 1980, 89,440 Cuban aliens had arrived in the
United States directly from Cuba via the boat lift. Of that number, 63,494 have
been processed by INS officers at Miami and at the three processing camps located
at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Ft. Chafee, Arkansas, and Indiantown Gap,
Pennsylvania. During processing, 9,636 aliens were identified as having criminal
records of some type. Each alien has been questioned thoroughly concerning crimi-
nal background. As a result of that questioning, 623 aliens have been physically
detained on the basis of serious criminal offenses. 7,381 aliens were found to
have committed criminal offenses of a petty nature not warranting physical deten-
tion. 1,611 aliens were determined to have committed offenses of a political nature
and thus have not been detained.
Initial determinations regarding detention are made by the INS officers who
question the aliens regarding their records. At the end of each day a team of
three officers at each location reviews the file of each detained alien in order to
decide whether further longer term detention is justified. Those aliens for whom
longer term detention is required are placed in Federal Correctional Institutions.
Thereafter, further review of each case is made by INS attorneys not only as
to grounds for exclusion from the United States but continued detention as well.
I shall be pleased to furnish any other information you may wish to have.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. How many of the persons who have come here have
said that they want to return ?
Mr. CROSLAND. We have three, thus far.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Are there any who have admitted that they were
sent here because they were told that if they did not come they would
be sent back to jail ? Do you have any figures on that ?
Mr. CROSLAND. I do not have the figures, but I gather that you have
a witness back there in the back who is going to testify to just that, and
I suspect some of the ones we are holding would testify, as well, if they
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Can you tell us something about the problem that
was reported in this morning's newspaper of persons who were
removed from mental institutions being sent here? To what extent
have you been able to ascertain the magnitude of that problem ?
Mr. CnOSLAND. We have about 14, I understand, thus far who have
been identified as being held in institutions for the criminally insane.
Ms. HOLTZMfAN. What about the incidence of disease ?
Mr. CROSLAND. I think Public Health or HEW would be in a better
position to testify as to that. I do not have any figures.
Ms. HOLTZ-MAN. Let me go back to the issue I raised at the outset in
the five-point program that I announced, the centerpiece of which is a
moratorium by the Cuban-American community to permit the working
out of an orderly process of immigration which would insure that
cases of family reunification and cases of political persecution are the
ones accepted into this country.
Mr. Palmieri, I am glad to see that you agree with the notion of a
moratorium. Can you tell me what the administration has done in this
regard? Has the Cuban-American community been approached with
the idea? And if so, what has the response been? Has the administra-
tion taken the position that it will provide an airlift or a sealift of its
own, in the event that the Cuban authorities permitted it ?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, first of all, with respect to the Cuban-American
community in Miami, the discussion is very much along the lines of
the importance of their contribution to the effort in terms of constrict-
ing the flow of boats which are southbound to Mariel while we seek to
bring about an orderly departure system.
We believe that we will be able to enlist their support for a program
restricted to the family reunification, if at the same time we can
promise them an alternative as a means of achieving that family
We have people who have been waiting many, many years to see
their family members, and they have made it plain that the threat of
jail, arrest, or other sanctions is not going to deter them from regain-
ing their sisters, or their other loved ones.
In that context, we have taken the first step in the Costa Rican
Conference. That is in the process of being followed up through diplo-
matic channels with the hope that that delegation can go to Havana
and work out that departure program.
I am not in a position to say any more about that. I want to assure
you of the effort. Again, I think the result remains in doubt, but I
hope-I hope that we can bring about that moratorium as you have
described it wth dispatch. It is absolutely necessary.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. My time has expired.
The gentleman from California.
Mr. DANIELSON. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
I am not going to ask you any quetsions; I will make some comments.
There is nothing that you gentlemen-Mr. Attorney General, Mr.
Ambassador, and Mr. Macy-have told me that cheers me greatly. But
I am encouraged to note that you recognize that you really have got a
ring-tailed snorter of a problem to deal with. I had thought for awhile,
from press releases and the like, that perhaps you did not envision the
magnitude of this problem, but I think you have gotten the message
and I am awfully glad you have the problem-that is, immediately-
and it is my responsibility to react to your efforts.
I am going to make a couple of comments, though, because I think
they are very important. We speak of "asylum." Traditionally, the
right of asylum has been granted to people who actually face danger
of persecution or loss of life and liberty in their homeland. But that
can be stretched.
We could have self-made asylum-seekers: people who, by outrageous
conduct within their own country, can make themselves so unwelcome
that they have created the environment from which they are able to
seek asylum. It appears that we may have that as a potential element
in this case, and for that reason I would urge that we do not encourage
people to place themselves into the asylum-seeker status by proclaim-
ing too broad an "open arms" policy.
My guess is that the open arms policy will be exceeded only by the
"empty arms" policy of Mr. Castro. Family reunification has been the
predictable basis for allowing people in. You know. we now have
36,764 Cubans who have come in since April 21. Each of them must
have left some relatives in Cuba. So the ever-expanding circle of fam-
ily members in the United States having relatives in Cuba also ex-
pands. It is like when you drop a stone in a pond and you see the
concentric circles rippling out from there. Before long, everybody in
Cuba will have a family member in the United States. Certainly those
426 who came in aboard the Dr. Daniels must have left at least three
times that number in Cuba who can now legitimately state that they
have family members in the United States. So I think we have to be
careful about that.
And, Mr. Attorney General, welcome to the world of politics. I am
sure you must find this much more exciting than sitting on the Federal
Bench. This is going to keep the Department moving.
Sir, you have done a beautiful job of delineating the due process
which you are going to afford to these people, all the way from the Key
West up through all the administrative procedures. you got as far as
the district court review, but don't forget you go from there to the
court of appeals, and from there to the Supreme Court, in many cases.
That daisy-chain will take no less than 3, and most probably 5 years
to exhaust. Meanwhile, we have these people on hand. But that does
not meet the ultimate problem.
Suppose you finally find one who under no circumstances qualifies
for admission into the United States. Now what are we going to do
with him or her ? Are we going to put him or her on the Dr. Daniels
and send her back to Cuba ? We know that is not true.
You have a tough problem, and I wish you well. If we can help, we
would be most happy to try. "
Mr. RENFREW. We do have a problem, Congressman Danielson, and
what we intend to do is work through the United Nations High Com-
missioner on Refugees, because this is an international problem. Under
international law and convention, a person such as those that are
presently being detained, and for whom we believe there are real rea-
sons-that they have criminal records which would exclude them,
they should be returned to Cuba, and we hope to work through inter-
national organizations and the High Commissioner to see that they are
Mr. DANIELSON. Well, I wish you luck on that. I do not expect that
you are going to have much luck.
On international cooperation, Mr. Ambassador, again I really and
truly wish you luck; but do not hold your breath while you are getting
Mr. PALMIERI. Thank you, sir.
Mr. DANIELSON. The Government of Hanoi was able to help us with
people leaving the country, but it is more cooperative than the Gov-
ernment of Havana.
I yield back my time.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you.
The gentleman from New York.
Mr. FISH. I thank you, Madam Chairman.
General Renfrew, press reports, as well as statements of witnesses,
indicate that 20 percent of the arrivals have recently been let out of
jail; whereas, only slightly in excess of 1 percent of the arrivals have
been segregated or incarcerated as a result of processing in various
parts of this country as a result of inspection.
My first question is: Is the 20 percent figure accurate?
Mr. RENFREW. On the basis of the interviewing that we have done,
that figure is not accurate.
Mr. Fisii. How do you account for all these statements in the news-
papers, the testimony we heard today that the jails are being emptied,
the stories in Sunday's New York Times that people have been fined
for allegedly stealing their son's school uniform, another refusing to
work at an assigned task, imprisoned for stealing food, jailed for
painting anti-Castro slogans, stealing bricks-this is a man who im-
proved his home, breaking into a home of a man who had been threat-
tening him for 3 years.
These are statements made by arrivals in the course of inspection,
Mr. RENFREW. We take all the information that is available to us
on the basis of our interviews, on the basis of people who have come
over on the same ship, and have done everything we can to ascertain
the existence of a criminal record. But if you are asking me to support
all of the facts that are stated in the newspapers, I am afraid I can-
not do that.
Mr. FISH. What I am getting at is, a lot of people are confessing to
having been incarcerated for offenses. If there is such a discrepancy in
the approach of 20 percent to 1 percent, then somebody is making the
determination that imprisonment for some charges is excusable and
others are not.
Mr. RENFREW. Yes, yes; the immigration people are making the
determination that if a person has been imprisoned for what we would
consider to be an exercise of first amendment right, we do not detain
such a person.
Mr. FISH. But under the law, 212(a) section 9, it would render ex-
cludable an alien who has been convicted of a crime involving moral
terpitude or aliens who admit having committed such a crime. I would
simply ask whether this test is being applied by the immigration in-
spectors and investigators.
Mr. RENFREW. Yes, it is. There is a four-pronged test: whether or
not the person has committed crimes against others; whether or not
Mr. FISH. What was the first one?
Mr. RENFREW. Whether one has persecuted other people. For
example, if one was an ex-Nazi, that person would not be permitted to
come in claiming refugee status.
Mr. FisH. That was the first of four standards ?
Mr. RENFREW. The first is one who has participated in the persecu-
tion of other persons.
The second is where one has committed a very serious crime that
would be a crime in this country, and where the Attorney General
has made a determination that that would endanger the community.
68-726 0 R1 4
Where there would be a person who we would have serious reason
to believe that that person has committed a serious offense in the coun-
try of origin.
And where there has been a determination that the person has com-
mitted a crime and is a threat to the security of this country.
Mr. FisH. Well, let us assume that 20 percent of the arrivals are
people who have committed this type of economic offense in their own
country-they have stolen food, or they have thrown things at some-
body's house, people who have done something like that-that would
simply not fall under the guidelines that the immigration officers are
operating under? Is that correct?
Mr. RENFREW. If someone simply stole food and was arrested for
stealing food ?
Mr. FISH. No matter how long the period of incarceration.
Mr. RENFREW. I did not hear the last question.
Mr. FISH. No matter how long the period of incarceration.
Mr. RENFREW. If someone stole food to feed their family, we would
not consider that person a threat to the security of this country or a
threat to this community.
Mr. CROSLAND. Mr. Fish, we have found-
Mr. FISH. Well, somebody is making the decision. You have given
me the test. Now is this test being used?
Mr. CROSLAND. The test is set under law. The people we are holding
are persons who have committed murder, robbery, narcotics violations,
assault, rape, care theft, possession of explosives. There was one woman
we interviewed who was held in prison for a number of years because
she was an epileptic.
Mr. FISH. A person who was an epileptic ?
Mr. CROSLAND. Yes. And obviously, just because she was held in
prison does not mean that we are going to-
Mr. FISH. So it is perfectly possible that 20 percent of these arrivals
have been in Castro's jails, have been let out of those jails and escorted
to boats, but they simply do not fall under the four categories that
General Renfrew announced as being-
Mr. RENFREW. The Congress of the United States in the Refugee
Act of 1980 announced those categories.
Mr. FISH. Well, this test is in writing and is communicated to the
examining officer? It is not one that is just known by you people-
Mr. RENFREW. One of the problems, Congressman Fish, is that you
have assumed for the purposes of your questioning that the facts con-
tained in the newspaper are accurate. I do not have any basis for be-
lieving that to be the case.
Mr. FISH. Well, we are told that people are free to confess when
they arrive, that--
Mr. RENFREW. If they are freely confessing to the immigration ex-
aminer and are confessing to a crime of the type that falls within the
four categories set forth in the statute, they will be detained.
Mr. FisH. But, General, if they are confessing to anything, we should
have a figure, a percentage of what would be the total robbers, et
cetera. We are not seeing anything.
Mr. RENFREW. My understanding is that Mr. Crosland will submit
the figures showing those who have admitted to misdemeanors and
political offenses that did not require their detention.
Mr. FIsn. You do not have anything off the cuff?
Mr. CROSLAND. I think 20 percent is extremely high. I will try to get
the percentage of persons who have committed misdemeanors. You
have to understand, we have 5,000 people a day, on some days, com-
ing through at Key West and going to the various camps; but they
are all being screened by INS-trained officers, as well as FBI.
Mr. FIsi. I am very familiar with that. I am just saying, you must
be aware of the fact that this is one of the critical points in the minds
of the American people, and for us not to have any figures as to the
number of people who have been admitted-how many have volun-
teered or been fingered by somebody else in their arrival group as
having been incarcerated for whatever reason.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I appreciate the gentleman yielding. I would just
like to point out that at a briefing session for the subcommittee last
Thursday, I think I asked that same question and I was told those
figures would be made available.
Mr. CROSLAND. I have the exact number for people that we consider
to be excludable. That number is 421.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Those figures were in the press. That was not the
question I asked you last Thursday. I would really like to get an
answer to my question. I think it is important to know how many
people there are who have admitted to committing petty crimes, which
is what I think Mr. Fish is trying to get at; because I think the other
question the subcommittee wants to get at is what standards are being
used to judge what crimes are crimes that would be excludable of-
fenses, and what crimes are crimes that are not, and how you are
making that decision.
Mr. BUTLER. Would the gentlelady yield ?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Well, I do not have the time. The gentleman from
New York had his time and it has expired.
The gentleman from Texas.
Mr. HALL. I address this question to any of you gentlemen who have
testified. You heard the testimony earlier of Mr. Parrot and Mr.
Schoeller in which they indicated that a Mr. Ray Morris who is with
Immigration, and Mr. Kaps who is with Customs, and Mr. Ding-
felder who is also with Customs, made some comment to them con-
cerning the taking of any of these people to Costa Rica.
Do you have any knowledge that those statements were made?
Mr. RENFREW. I have no knowledge.
Mr. CROSLAND. I have not talked with Mr. Morris as to what conver-
sations he may have had with Mr. Parrot. I do know, from what I have
heard here today, according to Mr. Parrot, that he faces a $426,000
fine. He left on the 29th, after a notice again being delivered by the
Coast Guard in Spanish and in English on the 23d, with my name on
it, saying that anybody who went to Cuba and brought people back
would be fined $1,000 a person and could face a possible criminal
charge; and that he relies apparently on the President's statement on
the 5th, which occurred after his departure on the 29th.
He evidently, according to his own testimony, has called some 20
people asking them various kinds of questions. I do not know exactly
what he might has asked, or what he was told, but I would feel con-
fident that Mr. Morris is carrying out the directives as we outlined
Mr. HALL. Mr. Crosland, I take it from your statement, then, that
none of those statements attributed to those gentlemen was an
authorized statement, if they were made?
Mr. RENFREW. That is certainly true, Congressman Hall. It was not
an authorized statement.
Mr. HALL. Mr. Renfrew, I noticed from your testimony at the
bottom of page 2, you indicate, from what I read in your statement,
that because of the people who are coming in to Florida to meet with
their friends and that sort of thing, that they have no fear of the
prospect of facing criminal and civil sanctions.
You go further to state in effect that the court system has broken
down in southern Florida. Did you intend to make that statement?
Mr. RENFREW. No. If that is how the statement is construed, then it
is incorrect. What I tried to suggest in the statement is that law en-
forcement is not totally effective under the circumstances we have here.
What we are trying to do is develop a law enforcement policy which
takes into account the humane instincts and traditions of this country
in welcoming refugees and people seeking asylum; seeking to provide
as safe a passage as possible; seeking to enforce the law.
Now in order to do that, you have to have orderly processing. Strict
law enforcement has several difficulties.
One is that people who seek to come and avoid a dictatorship are
not going to be deterred by the threat of criminal sanctions. Their
families bringing them over are not likely to be deterred by criminal
sanctions. Trials in the south Florida area charging someone with
going over to Mariel and trying to pick up a mother, a father, a sister,
and charging them with a criminal violation are going to be charged
with a crime and tried in the south Florida area, and you are not
likely to get a conviction under those circumstances.
By the time you do get a criminal conviction, the deterrence you are
likely to get may be after this particular crisis occurs; and further,
strict enforcement of the law presents the problem, as Ambassador
Palmieri said, of dispersing the arrival down the entire Florida
Right now, we have people coming in in designated ports of entry.
We want this. So our law enforcement is going after those who seek
to profit by this extraordinary tragedy.
Mr. HALL. Thank you.
Mr. Palmieri, you indicate that you are going to insist on the orderly
exodus from Cuba in order to get these people over here. Now you do
not seriously believe that Fidel Castro is going to assist you in any
way in getting an orderly exodus from Cuba, do you?
Mr. PALMIERI. He certainly has not shown any sign, yet.
Mr. HALL. Well, what makes you believe that he might?
Mr. PALMIlERI. Well, I tried to point out that we are not the only
people with problems in this situation; that Castro in effect has cre-
ated a convulsion in his own country.
He is getting rid of people who represent a potential threat to his
regime, along with other elements that are a problem to his society
and will be a problem to ours.
Mr. HALL. Well, from what I can gather, the people that he is get-
ting rid of are those who are in jail, and those who are suffering from
other maladies. Are they going to be a good deterrent ? Are they going
to bother him in any way if you have them all in jail?
Mr. PALMIERI. I think you cannot underestimate the extent to which
his regime is affected by the flow of people to Mariel. There are thou-
sands of people waiting there. They have had the first demonstrations
on the streets of Havana, the first riots. He has serious problems, too.
He has serious problems with the Latin countries. He has failed now
consistently to obtain his objectives in the United Nations. He has
lost 10 years of effort in Latin America.
I think that he cannot continue indefinitely to have his own govern-
ment show to the world that it is failing. He really cannot continue
Mr. HALL. I do not want to see Fidel Castro determine our foreign
Mr. PALMIIERI. Well, you and I are agreed on that.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. BUTLER. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Mr. Palmieri, just one brief question. Is it now your policy, in re-
sponse to the suggestion of the gentlelady from New York, to seek
a moratorium on boat departures from Cuba in search of asylum ?
Mr. PALMIERI. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUTLER. Question No. 2: What specifically do you propose to do
to implement that policy? For example, are you going to urge that
license to return to Cuba be denied to the boats coming into Key West ?
Mr. PALMIERI. We have to offer, first, an alternative for family uni-
fication in the context of an enforcement program.
Mr. BUTLER. I thank the gentleman. If you have not any specific
suggestion in mind, perhaps you would provide that for the record.
TMr. PALMIERI. Well, I would just like to ask for your understand-
ing of the fact that it does not help the outcome to discuss the terms
of our negotiations with a foreign country, or the terms of our enforce-
ment plans, in this forum. I appreciate your concern, but it simply is
not possible for me to go further than I have gone.
Mr. BUTLER. Thank you. But if you would like to talk about it,
would you do that ?
Mr. PALMIERI. I sure will.
Mr. BUTLER. Thank you, sir.
I appreciate the comments from the gentleman about law enforce-
ment, and I think-because the chairlady is about to drop the gavel at
any moment-I will make a series of statements, and then I will dare
you to get the time to respond to them, because I think that way we
will have some time to play with.
Now, Mr. Crosland, in the first place I want to state that concern-
ing your problem, the mechanics of it, that I have a great deal of re-
spect for what is going on down there. The individuals in the field,
the results of it, the policy determinations about those people who
can be turned loose and so on, I think need to be further discussed.
I visited Key West. I visited Eglin. I was impressed with the quality
of the people and the effort thev are making to try to resolve a dif-
ficult problem. But I do not think your figures are quite right. Mr.
Crosland. You said something about one-half of 1 percent in talking
about the 421.
What you are talking about there when you are talking about the
people in the detention facilities, they are our hardened criminals.
They have been identified as the hardened criminals.
Now our experience at Eglin was that at that time there were 333;
now I am told there are 342. But at Eglin, that 333 were out of the
2,600 that had been processed at that time. So, really, this is a percent-
ago of the people who have been processed; not the percentage of
the people who are in the camp. It is much closer to 5 or 6 percent than
to one-half of 1 percent. So that I think it is only fair to say that that
is an alarming statistic.
There is another alarming statistic-now I turn to the Deputy At-
torney General. On page 8 of your testimony-and this is the reason
I really wanted to see it in front of me, because I didn't think that you
said it; but you did.
At Eglin and Fort Chaffee, the process principle is the same, with one exception.
The exception Is that biographic data forms received from the aliens are flown
daily to Washington, D.C., and clearances are sought on an emergency 48-hour
Now that says to me, in the first place you are not talking about
biographic data forms alone; you are talking about fingerprints, and
photographs, and biographical data. What you are saying to me is:
We can do all that at Eglin, but we have not done that in Miami.
Mr. RENFREW. We are doing it, but-
Mr. BUTLER. No; now wait a minute. Just let me make the state-
ment, and then I will have you respond. I do not mean to be rude, I
just want to get this on the record.
Because from the information that we got while we were there at
Eglin was that, on the first day or two, they had gotten around 100
to 150 or so names into the mill, and they were getting hits in the
neighborhood of 14 or 15 percent. That means that they have some
prior information, derogatory information, about 14 to 15 percent of
the people being processed.
I hope that figure is inaccurate, and I hope that was not the trend,
but if it is it is pretty alarming. I mean, if it is in the system, it is an
alarming piece of information.
What is even more alarming is, if I understand your testimony cor-
rectly, that even in the face of that information, we are not putting
these things through from Miami for the check.
Mr. RENFREW. We are talking about the 48-hour turnaround. We
are doing it on a regular basis during the parole period, but not on an
emergency 48-hour turnaround.
Mr. BUTLER. Are you sending fingerprints out of Miami to Wash-
ington for examination ?
Mr. RENFREW. Yes. Yes; but not on the emergency 48-hour turn-
Mr. BUTLER. Well, you mean, in other words-
Mr. RENFREW. These are people who are being released to a family
Mr. BUTLER. Yes. But what you are saying to me is: We're going
to turn them loose anyway, or resettle them anyway, so why wait for
clearance? Is that an accurate statement ?
Mr. RENFREW. That is not an accurate statement.
Mr. BUTLER. Clear it up.
Mr. RENFREW. What is accurate is that these are people who have
a family member and we can parole them to a family member and
they can be located. We send up their biographical data, fingerprints,
and everything, to the Bureau for a security check during the time they
are on parole and outside of the camp.
Those who do not have family in the area, we do it on a 48-hour
emergency basis to get a turnaround as quickly as possible.
Mr. BUTLER. How much confidence do you have in your knowledge
of the record of those people who have been-and we use the word
"paroled," although some say "resettled" persons-but how much con-
fidence do you have in the records that you are keeping of the people
who have been resettled, paroled, orwhat-have-you in Miami? Do you
think you really know where 14,800 people are? Could you round them
up tomorrow, if you had to? Answer "yes," or "no."
Mr. RENFREW. I can't answer that question. I don't know that we
could round them up tomorrow; that might be difficult. But I do have
confidence in the records that are being maintained.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The time of the gentleman has expired.
I would advise the gentleman that there will be a second round of
Mr. BUTLER. Thank you.
Mr. RENFREW. Could I add something to Mr. Butler's previous
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Yes.
Mr. RENFREW. We received 29 hits on some 4,000 checks. The hits,
I am told, were of a minor nature-we would have to submit it for
the record without the names-such as previous stowaways, and so
on. So we have not received 14 percent of the total; we received 29
out of a total of 4,000.
Mr. BUTLER. Thank you. I am glad to get that cleared up.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The gentleman from California.
Mr. LUNGREN. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
We have talked about the figure of around 20,054 who have been
processed through Miami because they had some connection with rela-
tives. Could you tell us precisely what that is? "Relatives" can be a
very vague term, with "relatives" as opposed to "close family ties."
Mr. RENFREW. Well, what we have done, we must distinguish the
difference between someone seeking status based upon close family
ties, and someone being paroled to the community because they have
a place where they can stay and where they can be located. And it is
the family in the Miami area that is the basis for releasing people
Mr. LUNGREN. I am just asking for a verification process on that, be-
cause we have been told tht there will be checks on some of these people,
and perhaps we have to go back to them to pursue these questions as to
possible criminal background, and so forth.
In other words, what verification do you have ? Or has there been
any setup at this point so that we have a good idea that these people
will be where they are supposed to be if we do have to go back for a
Mr. RENFREW. Do you mean, are we checking on them on a daily, or
a weekly basis, something to that effect ?
Mr. LUNGREN. Or will we?
Mr. RENFREW. We will when the parole period expires, yes.
Mr. LUNGREN. So the procedure is that they will be, to use the term,
"paroled" to a family?
Mr. RENFREW. Yes.
Mr. LUNGREN. And then at the point in time in which the parole
period is over, at that point in time you might check and go back ? Is
Mr. RENFREW. They would have to return.
Mr. LUNGREN. Well, I think I can appreciate the very, very tough
circumstances that all of you gentlemen are dealing with, but I think
one of the things the members of the committee are trying to get a
handle on is whether there is an appreciation for the possible criminal
backgrounds of some, because it raises some questions as to what we
should do in response.
Perhaps I can bring that into some focus with the fact that I had a
case in my district not too long ago about a young girl who happened
to be here and was trying to establish her visa status, and was unsuc-
cessful in having that established. The information was brought to my
attention that she had been picked up on shoplifting charges.
Now here you have a 15-year-old girl who is involved in community
activities and so forth. We have made every effort to keep her here,
and she is no longer here. She was voluntarily deported from this coun-
try, based essentially on the fact that she could not extend her visa
because evidently she had been involved in what would be considered a
And people in my community-as they are around the country, I
think-are wondering what policy decisions are going to be made with
respect to the Cuban refugees; and what that has in effect to do with
the decisions we make as to other people.
Someone said earlier there had been something minor in their back-
ground such as a past stowaway, or a past attempt to get into the
United States. We have literally thousands and thousands of people
coming across from Mexico. We have to make some decisions on them.
I think all the committee is attempting to do is to get the informa-
tional data so that we can make some informed judgments as to what
the decision ought to be here. I do not really think we are being picky
about that; we are just trying to have some assurance that in fact we
will have that information.
Mr. Crosland, you had indicated that approximately, I believe, 180
border patrol officers had been transferred, and 150 inspectors and
investigators, to assist in this processing in Florida.
Can you tell me how many of those were transferred from the
Mr. CROSLAND. Well, I can tell you the number transferred from
Chula Vista. [Pause.]
We transferred about 30 from El Paso and Laredo. and we have
since shifted border patrolmhnen from the interior, specifically Liver-
more, to take their places, so that they've returned to the Southwest
I can give you a breakdown-I do not have a breakdown exactly
as to where they came from. The first group that went came from the
Southern region. None came from the Western region.
Mr. LUNGREN. Is that still the case ?
Mr. CROSLAND. Now the only ones who come from the Western
region, I believe, are from Livermore, which is out from San
Mr. LUNGREN. So up to now you haven't taken any from the Chula
Vista sector, or-
Mr. CROSLAND. We do not intend to take any from Chula Vista.
Mr. LUNGREN. The three principles set out by Mr. Palmieri I ap-
preciate because I think we are finally getting a feeling for what the
principles are upon which we are basing this policy.
You have indicated that we hope to have some cessation of the
tremendous influx from Cuba, but I think realistically you are saying
to us that, at least you are not giving up on it, but you do not see great
prospects at this time for cooperation from the Cuban Government.
Do you see the type of cooperation from the Cuban-American com-
munity that will help us, No. 1, to get a short-term moratorium ?
And No. 2, do you think that that is a cooperation that will last
for more than just a short period of time ?
Mr. PALMIERr. Well, I think that the prospects for a moratorium
really depend on whether the Miami Cuban-American community
comes to realize that what they are doing is deferring the day when
we have an orderly departure system.
Now that is hard, as I have said, for people who have long deferred
intense hopes for seeing loved ones that they have been denied from
seeing for many years. It is hard for them to accept any delay, and it
is hard for them to accept the fact that they are being used by Castro
in this way.
I think they are gradually coming to understand it. I think they are
gradually becoming very apprehensive about some of the same things
that we and this committee are apprehensive about that have been dis-
cussed here today in terms of some of the people who are coming over.
That community has spent 20 years building its place in southern
Florida. I do not think it wants to see it go down the drain at the
hands of some people who Castro has sent over.
So I do have hopes that we can make progress. I have hopes that
Castro's own problems, as I tried to point out, are going to lead him
to do one of those switches that he has done in the past. If he wants
Cubans to be able to immigrate to this country, we are willing, as the
President has pointed out, to do that if it can be done in accordance
with our laws, with proper screening, and particularly screening out
of undesirable elements. That is our policy. That is our position. It is
not possible to station gunboats off our shores and keep these people
from arriving. Everybody knows that.
It is not possible to send these Cubans back, anymore than it is pos-
sible to send other people back to whom we are offering refuge and
asylum. But we are striving to make sense out of a situation which
is fundamentally activated by a ruthless and I think in many respects
out-of-control regime, a regime that is desperately seeking to attract
attention to Key West from the situation in Havana.
Ms. HOLTZMrAN. The time of the gentleman has expired.
The gentleman from Texas.
Mr. HALL. I have no questions.
Ms. HOLTZMAAN. The gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. MCCLORY. Madam Chairman, could you recognize me on this
Ms. HOLTZMAN. After the subcommittee members have finished their
The gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. McCLORY. I had not been recognized in this round.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I intend to do that.
Mr. BUTLER. I would yield to the gentleman.
Mr. MCCLORY. Did you have one round before ?
Mr. BUTLER. Didn't you hear it ?
Mr. McCLORY. I thought you had.
Mr. BUTLER. Yes, I will yield to you now, and then when you get
your turn you can yield to me.
Mr. MCCLORY. Thank you very much. I am very interested in this
subject. I was a representative at the U.N. Conference on Refugees,
in July 1979, and am a member of the Select Commission on Immigra-
tion and Refugee Policy. And I appreciate, as the ranking member
of this committee, being accorded the opportunity to ask a few ques-
tions here, because I am very interested in the subject of what policy
I cannot help but concur with the chairman's view that we have a
"nonpolicy." And the thing that concerns me, beyond that, is that
perhaps the policy we are pursuing is one which is motivated by fear.
I think that that is extremely unfortunate.
Mr. Palmieri, I understood from you at the time we had a pre-
liminary consultation that your refusal to support efforts to send some
of these refugees back and take other steps to discourage their landing
here were because you feared a civil disturbance in our country. That
is why it seems to me that we .may be inviting a more serious civil
disturbance if we do not take positive steps such as I think should
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, Congressman, I am really disappointed at your
letter and your interpretation of the background which I tried to give
this committee in what was supposed to be a confidential consultation.
I want you to know that I am disappointed with that. You are one of
the most knowledgeable people on the committee in the international
sphere. You know the sensitivity of the situation. You know that there
are many aspects of this that do not bear on a helpful result to be
One of them is the fact that law enforcement officials, as I think
Judge Renfrew has ably articulated today, are very apprehensive of
scattering this flow. They are very anxious to maintain it coming
through inspection for precisely the reasons that members of this
committee have emphasized.
I do not believe that we are afraid of anything. I believe we are
seeking to pursue a balanced, sensible policy in a situation that has no
Mr. McCLonRY. You mentioned that one of the principles is con-
sultation with other nations. I assume other nations of Latin America.
I sat at dinner a couple of nights ago next to an ambassador of a large.
respected Latin American nation.
I asked him, "What kind of consultation have you had with respect
to relieving the Cuban refugee problem?"
He said he had not been contacted by representatives of our Govern-
ment with regard to the Cuban refugees. Now--
Mr. PALMIERI. I do not understand what you infer from that with
respect to our diplomatic channels. I do not know who that was, what
position he had, whether he was privy to these channels.
Mr. McCLORY. Well, I suppose it is part of the "confidential"
Mr. PALMIERI. No; I do not want to overdo that, because I believe
that this Congress is a partner in as much of this as we can share.
Believe me, I would like to share it all with you.
What I do want to point out is something you know: That the
sensitivity for a Latin country in coming to the assistance of what is
essentially viewed in the Latin context as a "Castro-United States"
problem, is very hot. It is very difficult. He would not even admit it if
he knew it.
Mr. McCLORY. I want to be absolutely out in the open, in that I feel
that the situation we have now is chaotic. I think we have no policy
now. I think that what we are doing is leading to disaster.
Mr. PALMIERI. Do you have a policy in mind which is better than
the one I have enunciated ?
Mr. MCCLORY. I think the policy which you followed with respect
to' the impoundment of the vessel is a good one, and I think I would
pursue that many times over.
I think that Cubans who are not admissible here should be returned
to Cuba, like any other potential emigrants who are not qualified for
emigration. I think that we have stretch I the whole policy of immi-
gration far beyond the point that was ever intended by Congress.
I think you should take a much harder look at a firmer policy.
Mr. PALAMIERI. Well. I-
Mr. McCLORY. And I do not think that policy can be created by the
President making a statement at a meeting of the League of Women
Voters and then expect you gentlemen to pursue such a policy, which
I think is what is happening.
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, Congressman, I assure you that your views and
the views of this committee will be taken into consideration at the
highest levels of this Government.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. BUTLER. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
This has some legal ramifications that are not clear to me as to what
exactly we are hanging our hat on in terms of the release or resettle-
ment for what I thought was 60 days of temporary asylum. Now the
word "parole" has been used. I want, for the record, to understand
exactly what the legal status of these people is. Of course they are
"illegal aliens" at the point when they arrive in this country. They are
not thereafter classified in any way; but this 60-day period keeps
Of course we have to give them some kind of title in order to justify
it. My recollection is that we have asylum regulations which have now
gone out of existence with the passage of the Refugee Act; and that
there was a direction to the Attorney General to prepare regulations
on asylum under the Refugee Act.
I wonder if you could tell me what is the legal status of the previous
asylum regulations; and how are we coming along on the new ones ?
Mr. RENFREW. Well, the new ones will be promulgated on June 1.
The authority for the 60-day parole into the community is contained
in the Immigration and Naturalization Act, and provides that the
Attorney General has the discretion to parole in the United States
temporarily under such conditions as he may prescribe for emergency
reasons or for reasons deemed strictly in the public interest any alien
applying for admission into the United States; but such parole of
such alien shall not be regarded as admission of such alien.
Mr. BUTLER. They are under that parole authority ?
Mr. RENFREW. They are under that parole; yes, sir.
Mr. BUTLER. Now do we have any regulations at this moment, valid
regulations with reference to asylum, at this moment?
Mr. RENFREW. At this moment, we do not. The regulations will be
promulgated on June 1.
Mr. BUTLER. So therefore we cannot make a determination as to
whether they are entitled to political asylum or not until the regula-
tions have been promulgated. Is that correct ?
Mr. RENFREW. Until we have completed all the necessary work to
determine whether they qualify for asylum.
Mr. BUTLER. Yes; I understand that. You have to get the regula-
tions, and then you have to do whatever is indicated by the regula-
tions in order to make the determination.
Mr. RENFREW. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUTLER. And that of course, the present plan, unless there has
been some change, is to review that on a case-by-case basis.
Ar. RENFREW. Yes, sir, it is on a case-by-case basis.
Air. BUTLER. There is no question about that ?
Mr. RENFREW. There is no question about that.
Mr. BUTLER. All right, now, I think it comes back to a question
by Mr. Danielson. What are you going to do with those people who
do not qualify for political asylum because they are not "refugees"
within the meaning of the act?
Mr. RENFREW. Well, what we will do is, these people will be identi-
fied and we will enlist the support of the international community,
including the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, and
seek to obtain their exclusion from this country and. if no other
country will take them. back to Cuba; and put whatever pressures we
can, through the international community, on the Cuban Government
to accept them.
Mr. BUTLER. But do you realize that Air. Palmieri has just said we
cannot possibly send anyone back? Do you accept that statement?
Mr. RENFREW. I think it is unlikely. I do not know that it is impos-
I think the Cuban Government does have to operate in the inter-
national community from time to time. There are pressures that they
must feel, and we will be able to exert some pressure under some con-
ditions that would require them to accept these people if we are able
to establish some orderly screening and processing in Cuba for those
persons who wish to come here.
Mr. PALMIERI. With all due respect, sir, I meant no conflict with
what the judge is saying. I am saying that in this emergency phase
when people ask us why we do not put these Cubans on boats and send
them back, I reply that that is not a proposal to be taken seriously.
If your question relates to the activation of international channels
and international agreements and eventual negotiations with the Cu-
ban Government, I would hope that we would be able to send people
back just as the judge has said. That is what the U.N. High Commis-
sioner is for.
Mr. BUTLER. I do not think that that is what he is for, but-
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, he is in charge of repatriation programs. That
is one of his major responsibilities.
Mr. BUTLER. Well, I thank the gentleman, but I had not expected to
get off into the repatriation question. It seems to me that this is the
responsibility of this country. We are placing ourselves in a pretty
embarrassing position by allowing people not legally admissible to
come into this country. That is why I was so encouraged by your
statement that you are now undertaking as a policy, in response to the
suggestion of the gentlelady from New York, to have a moratorium
on boat departures from Cuba.
That is why I am hopeful that you will implement that until we
have an orderly processing into the United States.
Mr. PALMIERI. I am hopeful too, sir.
Mr. BUTLER. Well, hope starts with this committee. Execution is
the responsibility of your branch.
Mr. BUTLER. Now what are you going to do?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, we are in discussions. We are going to try to
bring up our enforcement effort to match our persuasion effort and our
international effort. We are doing what can be done. There are a world
of possibilities. I can only do, and this Government can only do what
possibilities exist. All I meant to suggest is that you cannot load these
people on boats and send them back, which some people are telling
us to do.
Mr. BUTLER. I think I have beat that horse to death and I yield back.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I thank the gentleman.
Just to clarify one matter, the ship agent who testified earlier said
that he was advised that he could not and should not bring Cuban
emigrees to Costa Rica, even though the Costa Ricans apparently
agreed to accept them.
Is it the policy of the U.S. Government to discourage persons who
wish to bring Cubans leaving Cuba to Costa Rica if the Costa Ricans
are willing to accept them ?
Mr. PALMIERI. No; not at all. I would be delighted to see them taking
persons proceeding directly to Costa Rica with persons from Cuba,
and sharing our problems.
There is another kind of difficulty. If it were thought in Costa Rica-
which is exercising leadership in the international effort to send a dele-
gation to Havana to get resettlement pledges from other countries-
if it were thought there that we were seeking to divert those without
their approval and outside of the channels of negotiation with the
Costa Rican Government, that would be the most destructive thing
that could happen in the setting we have now.
So that (a) we would encourage other nations to receive these peo-
ple; (b) we would be very careful about diverting boats.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I wish you would investigate the incident that was
testified to and respond later to the subcommittee as to how and why
this person was discouraged from bringing these people to Costa Rica.
Mr. PALMIERI. I will be glad to do that.
[The information follows:]
Mr. Parrot called the Cuban Refugee Working Group (CRWG) on at least two
occasions in which he spoke with Mr. Jere Broh-Kahn, the operations officer of
the CRWG. In both instances, in response to his questions about the advisability
of his ship picking up Cubans in Cuba to take to Costa Rica, Mr. Broh-Kahn
said that it was up to Costa Rica as to whether they could land there but the
United States would not guarantee that it would accept any of those who had
been landed in Costa Rica.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Secondly, you have two processing sites that have
already been designated. What other sites are to be opened, if any?
Mr. MACY. There are two sites, in addition to Miami, for processing
at the present time. One of them is Eglin Air Force Base; the other is
Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith, Ark. We announced yesterday that it
would be necessary, on the basis of the arrival rate presently experi-
enced, to open yet another processing center, and that one would be at
Indiantown Gap, Pa.
We are in the process, beyond that, of exploring other possibilities.
Because with the buidup at the rate that it is, we will need additional
locations as well.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What are the other possible sites being considered ?
Mr. MACY. We are exploring sites all over the country.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Would you be good enough to advise the subcom-
mittee as to what sites are being contemplated beforehand, so that we
de not have to read about it in the papers ?
Mr. MACY. Yes, indeed.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I would like to go briefly again to the issue of the
number of persons who are coming here, and the kind of persons.
Mr. Crosland, you said before that 20,000 of the 36,000 were persons
who had relatives here. You do not mean to imply that none of those
20,000 were persons who had petty criminal records, do you ?
Mr. CROSLAND. The persons who had criminal records-
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I am not talking about felony records or records
which would make them excludable. I am talking about persons with
any kind of a criminal record.
Mr. CROSLAND. That is correct.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Now what concerns me is that the recent figures that
have appeared in the press indicate that there are three or four non-
relatives placed on the returning boats by the Cuban authorities for
each relative; and that the three or four nonrelatives consist of a
variety of persons, including people who have recently been in prison,
and persons who might be legitimate political prisoners. Does that
coincide with your information?
Mr. CROSLAND. My information is that initially-and I do not have
a specific date-but initially the boats seemed to be 40, 45 percent rela-
tives and the balance were others who didn't have any relatives.
The American had 491 persons: 297 of those were young, single
males. The Dr. Daniels had 426: 378 of those were single males. So
there were more persons coming in lately who did not appear to have
relatives, and they were young single males.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. So that the original figure of 40 to 45 percent may
now be dropping down somewhere closer to 25 to 30 percent. Is that
Mr. CROSLAND. Well, I don't have the new percentages, but I think
Mr. Macy might be able to testify more specifically as to how many
people are now going to the camps.
Mr. MACY. I would say that if we are engaging in percentages, that
the family figure is still about 40 percent. It was as much as-
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What do you mean by "family"?
Mr. MACY. It was as much as 75 percent.
By that, I mean those that are going to be received by families in
the southern Florida area. That is what I am referring to.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Well, these are people who could have been taken
right out of a prison and sent to this country forcibly by the Cuban
authorities, and it turns out that they have some 10 cousins living in
Miami. Is that correct? They could be included in this number that
you gave me for the "family"; is that correct?
Mr. MACY. Yes.
Ms. HOLTZMiAN. That is what concerns me very much here. I think
the American people are entitled to have the facts with respect to who
is coming. The American people have been very generous with respect
to receiving refugees, and I believe that we ought to continue to be. I
personally believe that we ought to be taking people who are legitimate
refugees, people who are legitimately seeking to be reunified with
their families. But I do not think it serves any purpose to try in any
way to conceal the nature of this flow. Not everybody is coming here
for the purpose of family reunification, and in fact it seems to me
that from the recent figures that is a very small percentage.
They may happen to have relatives here, but that is not the reason
they are coming, and it may not have been their own idea. I think it
serves no purpose, as I said before, in any way to try and camouflage
or sweetcoat what is happening.
Mr. MACY. On the other-
Mr. RENFREW. Congresswoman Holtzman, I have to respond to that.
[ do not think there has been any attempt by any Government official
of whom I am aware to camouflage or hide from the American public
any such facts as you have stated.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Well, I must tell you that my basic understanding
of the thrust of the testimony is that it has been to try to minimize the
criminal records of the persons who are coming in, to try and suggest
that somehow the nature of the flow is for family reunification. That
is true with respect to a certain portion, and I think a diminishing
Mr. RENFREW. What I tried to testify to were the facts as we know
them and if that constituted minimization, so be it.
Mr. MAcY. I think it is also very important that we not overstate
the number that are coming who have this kind of background; that
is the tendency of the media.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. If you would just give us those figures, there will
not be any problem with minimization or maximization as to what the
facts are. This subcommittee has asked for them before, and we are
asking for them again today, and we will continue to ask for them
until we get them.
[The following information was submitted:]
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY,
Washington, D.C., May 19, 1980.
Hon. ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN,
House of Representatives,
DEAn Ms. HOLTZMAN: Attached Is tabular material on detainees among the
Cuban Refugees. I realize this is not the complete data you sought; we are fol-
lowing up on this and will advise you further.
JOHN W. MACY, Jr.,
DETENTION REPORT: MAY 17, 1980-CRIMINAL ALIENS IDENTIFIED
Location Interviewed detained detained
Miami......................---------.--...-..-----------.....-.. ...--. 803 601 202
Eglin..............-----------------...............-----------------..--------........ 4,066 3,754 312
Total..--.........-----------....-- .------ .....---------------------- 4,869 4,355 514
Location Male Female
At Miami FC...------......................-----------.--------------------------------------- 10 ...-------
At Eglin... -------------------------------------------------------- ---26-------
At Talladega, Ala.....--------------------------. ------------------- 411-------- 411
At Brooklyn, N.Y -----...---..---- ------------------------------------------------------ 41
At Springfield, Mo-..........---------....-----..........----------.....-------------------------..................... 8 ---------
At Atlanta, Ga.. ----------- ---------------------- 14 ...........--------
In transit...----------------------------------------------------------- 4 ------------
Total ------------------------------------------------------... 473 41
Grand total-..-----......---------------..----..-----..------....------------- 514
Source: Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Of total arrivals: Percent
Cumulative arrivals identified and interviewed as criminal
aliens ...........------------------------------------------------- 9
Cumulative arrivals detained as felons ------------------------ ()
Of potential criminal aliens:
Interviewed aliens not detained because of petty or political
offenses ----------------------------------------------- 89
Interviewed aliens detained as felons-------------------------- 11
Total ......------------------------------------------------------- 100
1 Less than 1 percent.
Ms. HOLTZMfAN. The gentleman from New York.
Mr. Fisn. Judge Renfrew, I think you testified that of the 780
vessels, that 2 or 3 were seized in April, the Dr. Daniels in May,
and 2 or 3 have been seized since then.
Mr. RENFREW. There have been nine seizures.
Mr. Fisi. Out of 780?
Mr. RENFREW. That is correct.
Mr. Fisu. I would yield to the gentleman from Texas.
Mr. HALL. Yes; for one question. Thank you.
From what you have seen-I direct this to any of the four gentle-
men seated at the table-I believe we have around 36,000 people who
have come in from Cuba since April 21. Do you have an estimate, any
of you, as to what you foresee to be the number of people who may
attempt to come into this country from Cuba ?
Mr. PALMIERI. I think it is difficult to come to any reasonable con-
clusions about what that number can be. There is so much speculation
in the press and elsewhere, and yet I see no real basis for it, sir, in
intelligence estimates, press estimates or otherwise. It is clear there
are a lot of people dissatisfied with that country and with the condi-
Madam Chairwoman, may I ask your indulgence, and that of all of
the members of this committee; I have an urgent meeting. If my col-
leagues would carry on, would you excuse me? I really have to get back
to the crisis.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I want to thank you very much, Mr. Palmieri, for
testifying here, for your forthrightness, and for your willingness to
come before this committee.
Mr. PALMIERI. Thank you, Madam Chairman. I appreciate the con-
cerns of this committee.
Mr. HALL. Is that the answer that the other gentlemen have? That
they don't know ?
Mr. RENFREW. I have not seen any figures; no, sir.
Mr. HALL. Do you have any estimate as to how many people you
Mr. RENFREW. I do not know of any.
Mr. MACY. The best estimate we can construct is from knowledge
of the number of vessels awaiting loading at Mariel. The most recent
figures show that that is approximately 1,400 vessels. The average per
vessel ranges very substantially. Unless there is some concerted effort
to reduce the amount of traffic, we are clearly going to have that flow
arrive, and our estimate is that we will continue to receive in the
neighborhood of 3,000 to 4,000 a day.
Mr. HALL. For how long?
Mr. MACY. For an indefinite period.
Mr. HALL. Do you think the figure of 200,000 to 250,000 bandied
around in the press and other areas, do you think that figure is exces-
sive, or low ?
Mr. MAC'. I think that figure is speculation, just as any figure is
Mr. HALL. Thank you. I yield back.
Mr. FISI. I would just like to say to the gentleman from Texas that
at the time the orderly departure from Cuba was cut off in 1960. at
that point there were 100,000 in Cuba who had been approved for
admission into the United States. I presume some of those have died.
and many more of them have given birth to new relatives, so I do not
know what the new figure would be.
General Renfrew, I want to clarify something here. This committee
wrote the clause containing the excludable categories that you read
off-people who endanger the welfare and security of the country;
those who advocate the overthrow of the Government, or who might
engage in espionage, sabotage, or narcotics, among others-you said
they were enumerated categories contained in the Refugee Act as
people who would be excluded.
I would like to clarify the record as to what the Refugee Act says.
There are 34 excludable categories in section 212 (a). There are four
that the Attorney General may not waive. So if those are the only
four that are being applied, then I think the full story would be that
clearly excludable categories are being waived for these particular
Cuban asylum petitions.
Mr. RENFREW. I do not mean to suggest that those are the only
categories being waived, but those are factors that are taken into ac-
count in determining whether someone should be detained because
these are people who could not, clearly, be admitted under the law.
Mr. FISH. Under the law they cannot be admitted.
Mr. RENFREW. Under the law, yes.
Mr. FISH. There are 30 other categories that should be detained-
Mr. RENFREW. Oh, yes.
Mr. Fisi. I just wanted to clear that up.
I asked you, just before I yielded to my friend from Texas, why it
is that only 8 or 9 vessels have been detained out of the 780 that you
said have arrived.
Mr. RENFREW. Surely. Our law enforcement policy here has been
one which has been not directed against the people seeking to come to
this country for refuge, but against those persons who are trying to
exploit this terrible situation.
Essentially, what we were doing is trying to get those people who,
for commercial purposes, seek to pick up refugees, do so in an unsafe
manner, make repeated trips and the like. Those are the people whose
boats we have seized, such as the Dr. Daniels.
Mr. FISH. That is the distinction between taking the vessel and
merely citing the captain with a "notice of intent to fine?"
Mr. RENFREW. Yes, sir.
Mr. FISH. Well, thank you.
Well, I had some questions for Ambassador Palmieri and, now that
he has left, they are for whoever can answer them.
How many of the 36,000, most of whom you have processed, have
claimed a substantially well-founded fear of persecution should they
return to Cuba?
Mr. RENFREW. At this point, I do not believe anybody has.
Mr. Fisi. So that nobody has really satisfied the asylum provision ?
Mr. RENFREW. That is correct. No refugee has been granted asylum.
Mr. FISH. And yet we have over half of these released out of the
Mr. RENFREW. They have been released into the community, but not
out of the process. The process is ongoing during their release, and
at the end of the 60-day parole term, they will be brought back. We
will continue the process. If we need more time, we may extend the
Mr. FISH. Mr. Crosland, what is the relative verification process that
is used ?
Mr. CROSLAND. My understanding is that the persons provide their
names, and I have asked that they have the information as to where
they are employed, what their addresses are, what their telephone num-
bers are, so that we can notify the alien to come back in for processing
after the 60 days.
Mr. Fisi. Can you verify the relative's status before you release
the Cuban out of the Miami processing system ?
Mr. CROSLAND. The actual verification process, or the process in-
volved with relatives, has been handled through another agency, not
Mr. FIsH. But it has to be done to the satisfaction of your personnel.
You do the screening and you are criminal investigators.
Mi. CROSLAND. I am aware of that. My people in Miami tell me that
they are satisfied that they have the kind of information they need
to get the people back for the further processing.
Mr. Fisu. I would like to know whether you are satisfied, Commis-
sioner. Is there a system of relative verification ? I have been told there
Mr. CROSLAND. As to calling up the person?
Mr. FISH. I come in. I say I have an uncle in Miami, and I give you
a name and address of a person who is not my relative but he's a dear
friend. He will vouch for me. Will you be able to call him up?
Mr. CROSLAND. You are talking about verification such as relatives
calling up and that sort of thing ? There is not that type of verifica-
tion-that is correct.
You ought to know, and I think you do from your visit, that we have
had as many as 5,000 people sitting around in Key West, another
5,000-or-so in Tamiami Park, several people on the dock waiting to go
to Key West, and there is just a tremendous logistical problem in get-
ting people put somewhere which we have addressed I think quite
well, given the tremendous flow of persons who have entered in a very
short period of time.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I guess we could keep you here all afternoon and
find out a lot about the "non-system" with respect to the resettlement
and absorption of these people, but we have two other witnesses whom
we must hear before the end of the session. I am sure we will be speak-
ing with you again, Mr. Crosland and Mr. Renfrew, and we thank
you very much for coming here this afternoon.
Mr. RENFREW. Thank you.
Ms. HOLTZIMAN. We next have two witnesses. The first is a hooded
witness who is a U.S. citizen who traveled to Cuba and will testify
about his efforts to get his relatives, and about the situation in the
harbor at Mariel. He returned to the United States without any of his
Because of his deep concern for his relatives who remain in Cuba,
the witness has requested anonymity. Therefore, any questioning
which relates to the identity of the witness, or in any way would shed
any light on his identity, cannot be allowed. The Chair will rule very
strictly on that. This will include any questions relating to the ship
on which he traveled to Cuba, including the number of men on that
The second witness is Juan Carlos Leiva-Rivero. He was born in
Havana, Cuba, on November 24, 1959. In 1973, when he was 13 years
old, he stole food from a school and was sentenced to 3 months in a
detention center for minors. In 1975, when he was 15 years old, he
robbed a warehouse and stole food, clothes, and money worth $200.
He served 3 years in El Holgin Prison for this offense. In 1979, at the
age of 20, he robbed a house of some clothes in order to get money.
He was sentenced to 20 years in El Combinado Prison for that
He arrived in the United States on May 8, and at Eglin Air Force
Base on May 9,1980.
We will begin with the hooded witness. Does he have a statement?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Would the witness proceed ?
[The following statement was made in Spanish through an interpre-
ter, Mr. Bert Moreno, of the Immigration and Naturalization Service,
by an unidentified hooded witness.]
TESTIMONY OF AN UNIDENTIFIED HOODED WITNESS, AND JUAN
CARLOS LEIVA-RIVERO, ACCOMPANIED BY LOUIS FINKLEY OF
THE U.S. IMMIGRATION SERVICE, GIVEN IN SPANISH AND
TRANSLATED BY MR. BERT MORENO OF THE U.S. IMMIGRATION
AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. I became aware of the problem when I was
at home, and so I traveled from my home to Miami. I then went to Key
West, Fla., to look for a contact. I found it very difficult to obtain a
contract. So then I went to Miami from Key West.
In Miami, after speaking to many people, I received a contact that
at Fort Lauderdale there was a boat that would be available. I found
the people, the contacts, that were doing this kind of activity for pay,
and we made our contacts.
After making the contact, we left Fort Lauderdale and went to
Cuba. The problem that we encountered when we reached Cuba was
that the boat was not allowed into the port.
After our arrival in Cuba, the following day we were allowed into
the port. We then waited for 3 days for Cuban immigration.
After 4 days of waiting, Cuban Immigration came and got the list
of relatives we were interested in. Then we spoke to the representative
of the boat. The representative from the boat told us that he could
only wait for 7 days.
We then told him that we didn't know how long Cuban Immigra-
tion would take; that it could be 6, 7, 8, or 9 days. When he made his
position known that he would only wait 7 days, we all asked him if
he would wait longer, and he insisted that 7 days was the limit
When it became apparent that he would not help us and wait longer,
we then told him that when we returned to Key West he would be
confronted with the problem that he had caused by leaving all our
families spread out all over Cuba.
The following day, I don't know if it was Cuban Immigration that
learned that he was going to leave, but they then directed him to go
into the actual port, the wharf.
When we docked at about 2 o'clock in the morning, there were
some buses waiting at the dock. At approximately 4 o'clock, everyone
was loaded onto the boat and they told us that we could leave.
When we arrived in Key West, we informed the U.S. Immigration
Service authorities of what our problem was. When we arrived at Key
West, we told the authorities that the problem was that he had not
waited for our people and our families, he had left without completing
The U.S. Immigration Service then obtained all the receipts and all
of the documents on the boat.
That is all I have to say.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The next witness is Juan Carlos Leiva-Rivero.
Would the gentleman sitting at the table next to him please identify
Mr. FINKLEY. Louis Finkley, U.S. Immigration Service. I am
detailed to Eglin Air Force Base at this time.
Ms. HOLTZM3AN. Would you move the microphone closer to you?
Mr. FINKLEY. Louis Finkley, U.S. Immigration Service. I am
detailed to the Eglin Air Force Base at this time.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Would you summarize briefly the criminal record of
Mr. Rivero and what has happened to him since he has come into the
Mr. FINKLEY. Yes, ma'am.
Juan Carlos Leiva-Rivero was born in Havana, Cuba, on November
24, 1959. In 1973 when he was 13 years old, he stole food from a school
and was sentenced to 3 months in a detention center for minors.
In 1973 when he was 15 years old, he robbed a warehouse and stole
food, clothes, and money with a value of approximately 200 pesos.
He served 3 years in El Holgin Prison for this offense.
In 1979 at 20 years of age he robbed a house of some clothes in order
to sell the clothes and get money. He was sentenced to 20 years in El
Combinado Prison in Oriente Province.
He arrived in the United States on board a private vessel by the
name of Rody on May 8, 1980. But prior to that date, about 20 days,
while still in prison the prison authorities gave him a choice of signing
a release on which he agreed to be sent to the United States, and upon
refusal to sign such a release he would be sentenced to an additional
4 years in prison.
He agreed to sign the form, and was transported by bus from El
Combinado Prison to La Cabana Prison which is in Havana. He
spent one night in La Cabana Prison. He was then transported by bus
to a camp near Mariel where they waited in the bus until the following
morning. He was then put on the boat with about 120 other people.
He landed in Key West on May 9. He spent approximately 20 hours
in Key West. He was then flown to Eglin Air Force Base where he is
under processing at the present time.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you very much.
I would like to begin by asking the hooded witness if he could
describe some of the people who came on the boat back from Cuba with
him. Since he does speak Spanish, he had an opportunity to talk to
these people on the boat and find out how was it these people came.
Were these people taken out of prison ? Did these people come because
they had relatives here? What kind of background did these people
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. Some of the people appeared to be good.
Some people did not give a good impression. It was our responsibility
to keep order in the boat, but we were afraid people would fall over
and drown. Because of my duties of keeping order, I wasn't able to
really talk to people that much.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I guess you must be very disappointed about having
gone to try to get your relatives and not having been successful. Would
you try this method again?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. My family is still in Cuba, and Cuban
Immigration now knows who they are; and, yes, I would return to get
them if I could.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I would like to ask Mr. Rivero, were there other
people in this prison with him who were told the same thing he was?
Namely, that he would be given an additional 4 years in prison unless
he agreed to be sent to the United States. And if so, how many of
Mr. RIVERO. Yes, there were other people who were told the same
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Does he know how many ?
Mr. RIVERO. In the prison there were approximately 5,000 people.
He believes all of them were told the same thing.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. How many of them refused to go to the United
Mr. RivERO [continuing through Mr. Moreno]. He believes about
1,000 remain of the 5,000.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. And the other 4,000 ? Have they come to the United
Mr. RIVERO. Some have come here; some are still waiting to come.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. But he believes all the 4,000 have come here?
Mr. RIVERO. Yes, they will come. They will come.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What about other prisons in Cuba ? Is he aware of
that same kind of procedure in" any other Cuban prison ?
Mr. RIVERO. Yes. The answer is "yes."
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I guess we can get the total number of prisoners in
the Cuban prisons and figure out how many emigres are on their way
Let me just ask you how many of the people at this prison, if any,
were political prisoners?
Mr. RIVERO. A few were political.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Less than 10 percent perhaps ?
Mr. RIVERO. About 2,000 or 3,000. [Mr. Finkley added: "He doesn't
Ms. HOLTZ-MAN. All right.
The gentleman from Texas.
Mr. HALL. How many murderers were in the prison with the witness,
the hooded witness-I am sorry. How many murderers were in the
prison with Mr. Rivero?
Mr. RIVERO. About 1,000 who were in for murder. He adds that those
people will not be released.
Mr. HALL. Any rapists in that prison with him?
Mr. RIVER. Yes.
Mr. HALL. Were the rapists in prison given the same alternative that
he had, that they could leave or stay there 4 more years?
Mr. RivERo. He doesn't believe so.
Mr. HALL. Were there any people who were guilty of theft or robbery
in the prison with him who came to this country with him on that boat ?
Mr. RIVER. Yes.
Mr. HALL. Those who were guilty of robbery and theft, those are
the ones who came to this country on the boat with the witness?
Mr. RIVER. Yes.
Mr. HALL. Did any of the rapists come over on the boat with him?
Mr. RIVER. No.
Mr. HALL. Did he know all of these people by name? And also, how
does he know that some of these people did not come over on the boat
Mr. RIVERO. He did not know the people by name, but he reaffirms
that the people convicted of murder were not allowed to leave. The
prisoners involved with murder were not allowed to leave.
Mr. HALL. And the rapists? Were they allowed to leave?
Mr. RivERO. The only people who were not allowed to leave were
Mr. HALL. So that some rapists were allowed to come over on the
boat with him?
Mr. RIVERO. They have come.
Mr. HALL. Do you know how many have come ?
Mr. RIVERO. A few have come.
Mr. HALL. Do you have any estimate as to how many have come?
Mr. RIVERo. I have no idea of how many came.
Mr. HALL. Were any women in that prison with him as prisoners?
And if so, what were they in there for ? And did any of those come over
Mr. RIVERo. There were no women in the prison.
Mr. HALL. Does he know whether or not any homosexuals came with
him when he came over here on the boat ?
Mr. RIVERO. Yes; there were.
Mr. HALL. About how many ?
Mr. RIVERO. Approximately 30.
Mr. HALL. What does the witness plan to do in this country for an
occupation or business?
Mr. RIVERO. He plans to obtain work, whatever kind of work is pre-
sented to him.
Mr. HALL. Does he have family in Cuba ?
Mr. RIVERO. His mother and his grandmother are in Cuba.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. HALL. Madam Chairperson, may I ask unanimous consent for
1 additional minute ?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. I would advise the gentleman that the Chair is
going to have to leave very soon-
Mr. HALL. All right, I withdraw my request. Thank you.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The gentleman from Virginia.
Mr. BUTLER. This question is for the gentleman from the INS. Has
the INS asked this witness to identify the homosexuals, rapists and
the other people that he mentioned ? And if so, is that placed in the
biographical information of the other passengers ?
Mr. FINKLEY. This gentleman has not identified anyone in Eglin as
being a criminal that came on the boat with him, at this moment.
Mr. BUTLEn. And rapists and homosexuals ?
Mr. FINKLEY. With reference to homosexuals, we have not asked
him to identify any of those.
Mr. BUTLER. Does your processing include interrogation-
Mr. FINKLEY. Yes; it does.
Mr. BUTLER [continuing]. As to the identity of any criminals, or
homosexuals, or other undesirable people who might have accompanied
Mr. FINKLEY. It does include asking them whether or not they have
any information they wish to furnish to the service concerning per-
sons who might be in the camp with them who they can identify who
might have a criminal record, or might have had some other job in
Mr. BUTLER. I judge from your response that it is pretty easy to get
a negative answer. You do not really press them on that, I judge from
what your response is?
Mr. FINKLEY. Not all of them are pressed; no, sir.
Mr. BUTLER. To the hooded witness: You are a U.S. citizen ?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. Yes.
Mr. BUTLER. Born in the United States ?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. He was born in Cuba.
Mr. BUTLER. Is he a naturalized citizen ?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. Yes; he is.
Mr. BUTLER. When did you come to the United States? Would it
jeopardize your identity if you told us when you came to the United
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. He feels it would put his family in danger
if he answers questions as to his personal identity.
Mr. BUTLER. I yield back.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The gentleman from California.
Mr. LUNGREN. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
To the hooded witness: Is it my understanding that you had an
opportunity to go ashore while your vessel was sitting in the harbor?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. He was allowed to enter the marketplace
close to the dock and use the phone.
Mr. LUNGREN. Was that the only opportunity he had to try and
track down his relatives while he was there?
UNIDENTIFIED. WITNESS. Yes, by telephone only.
Mr. LUNGREN. Did he have conversations with Cuban authorities
when he came there, telling them that he wanted to identify some of
the people who were on the list of relatives from the ship?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. He did not speak to them too much.
Mr. LUNGREN. So what happened when lie made the telephone call?
Were you unable to make connection ? Were you able to talk to any-
body who had information about your relatives?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. I was able to speak to some members of my
family. The Cuban authorities would allow us to take a taxi from the
dock to a hotel, after we identified ourselves as American citizens.
After we identified ourselves, we were allowed to take a taxi to the
hotel. There we were able to use the phone. I was able to contact some
of my family, and then I returned by taxi to the dock.
Mr. LUNGREN. Well, was the difficulty in getting the family out the
fact that they did not want to come ? Or. No. 2, that the government
would not allow them to come ? Or, No. 3, that the boats would not
wait long enough?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. It was because the boat left. His position
was not to wait. He did not wait for our families.
Mr. LUNGREN. So it is your feeling that, had you waited, you would
have had an opportunity to bring the family home ?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. I feel certain that if we would have waited
4 or 5 more days, we would have had the families on the boat.
Mr. LUINGREN. Have you gotten any money back from the people
who arranged for you to take the boat ride over ?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. No.
Mr. LUNGREN. Have you attempted it? Has there been a refusal?
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS. The matter is in the hands of the
Mr. LUJNGREN. What was the charge for-
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The Chair will not allow the question, to protect the
identity of the witness.
The hearings will be concluded for the moment. There were several
witnesses we did not get to hear from, and it is the intention of the
Chair to recall these other witnesses as early as possible.
I want to thank the members of the subcommittee, and I want to
thank very much the hooded witness for coming. I hope that the inter-
preter will explain and extend to him the appreciation of the sub-
committee for his coming to the hearing and being with us today.
I also want to thank the other witnesses.
The subcommittee is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:30 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4, 1980
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION,
REFUGEES, AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
The subcommittee met at 1:10 p.m. in room 2237 of the Rayburn
House Office Building; the Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman (chair-
person of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Holtzman, Danielson, Hall, Barnes, Carr,
Fish, Butler, and Lungren.
Staff present: Garner J. Cline, Arthur P. Endres, Jr., and James
J. Schweitzer, counsel, and Alexander B. Cook, associate counsel.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Today we continue our oversight hearings on the
administration's response to the massive and unregulated flow of
Cuban nationals into our country. Despite the fact that members of
this committee have met both publicly and privately on this issue with
administration officials on numerous occasions, we are still left with
far more questions about our policy than we are with solutions to
the problems confronting us. The long-term issues of status, funding,
and ultimate resettlement are all unresolved and the immediate opera-
tional and management problems are obvious. Just this morning I was
invited to the White House for yet another discussion of these issues.
Unfortunately, I cannot tell you that any decisions have been made;
those of us in attendance were simply presented with more options.
While the administration continues to debate the long-range issues,
we cannot ignore the immediate crises which seem to be arising daily.
We need an effective system for decisive executive action. I renew my
suggestion, made initially nearly a month ago, that the President
immediately appoint one official, with broad interagency authority,
to coordinate all aspects of this situation. The Refugee Act created
such a coordinator and the House of Representatives would have
placed the official within the Executive Office of the President. Such a
person would have been accessible and accountable to the Congress.
On the other hand, the Government's current response to the Cuban
influx-on both a policy and an operational basis-is being developed
entirely by White House officials, and the roles and responsibilities of
the statutorily created U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs, the
Department of Defense, the Federal Emergency Management Agency,
and other agencies involved are unclear at best. The designation of a
single coordinator with policy and program responsibility would elim-
inate many of these concerns, facilitate decisionmaking, and provide
a focal point for contact by the Congress, State and local officials,
voluntary agencies and the private sector.
I would note that 10 days before the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy
in Saigon in 1975 and the opening of the first refugee center at Camp
Pendleton, President Ford had directed that all Federal activities be
coordinated through a single office and had named Ambassador L. Dean
Brown as his Special Representative and Director of the Special
Interagency Task Force.
Unless and until a single coordinator is designated by the President,
problems of security in the camps, processing delays, and health
screening and treatment before and after release from the centers,
cannot be effectively addressed.
With respect to the broader issues, I still have numerous concerns.
First, our willingness to accept legitimate refugees and those emigres
with relatives in this country should be made clear. Second, the ad-
ministration must be prepared to engage in serious bilateral or multi-
lateral discussions with Cuba aiming toward an orderly departure
system, as we have done in the past. Thus far I have seen no indication
that such discussions have taken place. Third, the administration must
develop plans for dealing with the remaining population-those who
are not refugees and ai e without relatives in the United States. Any
such plans should include third country resettlement and voluntary
repatriation, both to be accomplished with the assistance of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or other appropriate inter-
national organizations. Additionally, in the course of any discussions
with the Cuban Government, we should seek agreement to permit the
return of certain nationals to Cuba.
This last point is particularly important. There is little question
that the Cuban Government took people directly from the prisons and,
after giving them the choice of remaining in jail for extended periods
or leaving the island, shipped them to this country. Over 9,000 non-
political criminals have already been identified by the Immigration
Service, including nearly 700 suspected felons. This is in addition to
some 2,500 individuals suspected of purely political crimes. In addi-
tion to these individuals it has become evident that there are numerous
malcontents in the processing centers. It must be made clear to these
people that any misconduct while they are awaiting resettlement will
not only jeopardize their chances of being released into the community
but will be grounds for their immediate deportation.
Finally, the administration must act expeditiously on the outstand-
ing question of funding. While I certainly appreciate the budgetary
impact and long-range implications of the various options that are
under consideration, I believe that further delay in addressing these
issues will only heighten tension in the reception and resettlement
communities and cause further frustration for the States and volun-
tary agencies. In my judgment, we must develop immediately plans
to reimburse State and local governments as well as the various agencies
for the costs that they have incurred in responding to this massive
influx. We cannot afford to allow funding decisions regarding the
resettlement of these Cuban nationals or their eligibility for public
assistance benefits to delay decisions on reimbursing government en-
tities for their costs.
In order to address these difficult and complex issues, we have in-
vited officials from various Federal agencies to testify here this after-
noon. I would request the various representatives of Justice, FEMA,
HHS, Defense, and the Coast Guard to come forward as well as Am-
bassador Palmieri who will be the lead witness for this panel. In
addition to his testimony, I understand that Acting Commissioner
Crosland and Dr. Fischer have prepared statements for the subcom-
mittee while the others will be available for questioning by the sub-
committee members. We will also hear from two scholars who have
studied in depth the subjects of Caribbean and Cuban migration. We
also look forward to their testimony.
I yield to Mr. Butler.
Mr. BUTLER. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Before we go further, I request the subcommittee allow the broad-
cast, recording and still photography of this hearing, in accordance
with committee rules.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Is there objection? Without objection, so ordered.
Mr. BUTLER. I want to endorse, Madam Chairman, your remarks.
In our previous meetings on the Cuban emergency facing our coun-
try, we were given excuses, philosophical explanations, and mostly
evasive and inconclusive answers to our questions.
The policy of the administration up to this point has been one of
vacillation, contradiction, and indecision. The situation has now
reached such serious proportions that the American people are en-
titled to straightforward, forthright answers to the hard questions
that face us.
We have over 100,000 illegal Cubans in our country. We have over
650 admitted felons and criminals incarcerated, with countless more
undesirable elements in our camps. Castro and his Soviet masters have
succeeded in hoodwinking this Government into receiving persons who
would never in the world qualify to enter our country under our im-
Because this is an election year, the administration has vacillated
between enforcing the law and "opening its arms and hearts" for
The American public is disturbed, and justifiably so. It expects a
solution which will not continue to drain the public coffers. The people
in our country face difficult economic times and they are not about
to stand for the expenditure of millions of taxpayer dollars to take
thousands of exiles foisted upon us because of the lack of foresight
and planning by the administration.
These may be harsh statements, but we can no longer sit back and
accept a situation by explaining it away as humanitarian actions.
I have some questions to ask each of you.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
Let me introduce again the Government panel. for the record. We
will hoar first from Ambassador at Large Victor Palmieri. who is the
U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs. We also have on the panel
David Crosland, the Acting Commissioner, Immigration and Naturali-
zation Service; John Macy, the Director of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency; Dr.' Robert D. Fischer, the Associate Director
of the Office of International Health, Public Health Service; Togo D.
West, Jr., General Counsel to the Department of Defense; and Rear
Adm. John Costello of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Mr. CARR. Madam Chairman, may I be recognized for a comment ?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Sure.
Mr. CARR. I have no prepared statement, but the remarks of my col-
league have caused me to want to make the comment that, had the
administration foreseen this particular problem, they probably would
have had to come to the Congress with a budget request for adequate
enforcement facilities and personnel in that particular area, either in
fiscal year 1979 or fiscal year 1980 requests. And I daresay that if they
had come up to this Hill with some proposal to put together the kind
of law enforcement effort that we now by hindsight know that today
we need, this Congress would have run them right out the door.
So I don't think it's completely fair to lay the particular problem
at the doorstep of the administration without telling the American
people that Congress bears its share of the burden.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Using my prerogatives as the Chair, I would just
like to say simply that members of this subcommittee who went down
to Florida and saw the situation at the end of April, including my-
self, made the recommendation to the administration to take the action
ultimately they did in mid May. And during the consultation under
the Refugee Act on April 22, this Chair and other members of the
committee expressed concern about the way the situation was being
handled then. I think the actions that were ultimately undertaken by
the administration on May 14th could have been taken on April 22
TESTIMONY OF VICTOR PALMIERI, U.S. COORDINATOR FOR
REFUGEE AFFAIRS; DAVID CROSLAND, ACTING COMMISSIONER,
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE; THE HONOR-
ABLE JOHN MACY, DIRECTOR, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGE-
MENT AGENCY; DR. ROBERT D. FISCHER, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
OF THE OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL HEALTH, PUBLIC HEALTH
SERVICE; TOGO D. WEST, JR., GENERAL COUNSEL, DEPARTMENT
OF DEFENSE; AND REAR ADMIRAL JOHN D. COSTELLO, U.S. COAST
Mr. PALMIERI. Thank you. Ms. Holtzman and Chairman, members of
the committee, it is the usual practice to say that I appreciate the
opportunity to appear here today. I'm going to say that, because in
fact I do. And I would like to lay before you a perspective on the record
which is different from what I have heard in the opening statements. It
is a perspective that is based on the facts of the situation, on the facts of
what is, in international experience, almost an unprecedented situa-
tion in the sense that we have had 100,000 individuals come to our
shores in the space of 6 weeks. During that period, those individuals
have been moved from Key West through processing centers. Over
48,000 of them today have been reunited with their families. In addi-
tion, some 50,000 remain in processing. Of them, about 15,000 are
awaiting final clearance.
And I think, in fact and in fairness, that the job the Federal Emer-
gency Management Agency has done in mounting that logistical ef-
fort, in mounting that airlift, in getting those Federal facilities ac-
tivated in the space of a few days time, in getting these people moved
out of the Miami area, I think it has been a heroic task. I think it has
been responsibly discharged, and I think we have problems.
The presentations I've heard have focused on the problems, and I
think that is appropriate for us to do today. But it would not do, I
think, to ignore the fact that this Government, and in particular that
agency, has responded, along with the Immigration and Naturaliza-
tion Service, along with the Coast Guard, with Customs, with HHS
with the State Department, and with the voluntary organizations, the
Cuban community and those who have been helping with the Haitian
group in south Florida, particularly and perhaps most of all, the
State and local officials.
I think it has been a spectacular effort. And I think the result is
something that we, at least, who have been dealing with the problems
on the front line do not have to be ashamed of. In fact, I tell you, I am
proud of what has been accomplished. And I say that, recognizing and
knowing, I think better perhaps than many in this room, just how
difficult the problems are that we are contending with.
First of all, let me bring you up to date. Since the President's an-
nouncement, the Coast Guard has in fact shut off the flow of south-
bound departures from Key West almost entirely. Just a small resi-
duum of boats are now left at Mariel Harbor. The enforcement effort
has been stepped up in exactly the way that was announced on May
13. The Miami Cuban-American community has been cooperating.
They have been showing restraint.
And we have been pursuing through international channels exactly
the steps that we told this committee we proposed to pursue, the steps
that the chairperson suggested, and to which I responded by saying I
thought those were indeed the right steps, and that we were already
taking them, namely: convening the international conference, seeking
to have the tripartite delegation received in Havana, activating the
UNHCR and the Inter-Governmental Committee for European Mi-
I was in Geneva last week with the chief of staff of the full commit-
tee meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee for European Mi-
gration. We secured a unanimous endorsement of our requests for in-
tensified efforts to seek resettlement opportunities abroad for Cubans
arriving in the United States.
We met with the UNHCR. We have two UNHCR officials in the
camps today. We have them reviewing the files at the Talladega Cor-
rectional Institute, where the bulk of our detainees are confined, as a
first step in the exclusion proceedings, which the President has ordered
be accelerated with respect to these individuals who represent a threat
to the community and should not be retained within our boundaries.
I would assert to this committee that many things have been ac-
complished, that the policy has been, in fact, a clear policy, that it has
centered on a humanitarian effort. And I believe that the humanitar-
ian effort will always be paramount in a condition in which the life
and death of people is involved. It has centered on the enforcement of
our laws. It has centered on the operation of the Cuban-American
community, and we have now, I think, received it. And it has centered
on internationalizing the problem.
In truth, Madam Chairman, members of this committee, I think it
would be confusing to the American people, I think it would be ter-
ribly misleading if, in the process of this hearing, which I think is
timely and necessary to review the problems, only the indictment that
I have heard so far was to materialize. Because I think this Govern-
ment has responded, and will continue to respond, and that the meas-
ure of performance will move up.
But I will not underplay the problems. I think they are best illus-
trated by comparison with the Indochinese experience of 1975. First of
all, let's look at the difference in the caseload. In the one case, we had
a culture which had the highest respect for authority, which brought
over its own community structures, often under the control of former
military officers which had a high respect for authority, which had a
predominance of family units.
In this case, we have a caseload of people only about half of whom
represent families, a great many of whom represent unattached males,
many of them former political prisoners. We have people who have
been sujected to the most desperate repression by the Cuban regime,
who have been forced under great harassment to leave their homes,
to leave their belongings, to run a gauntlet where they're beaten en
route to the compound at Mosquito outside of the port of Mariel,
where -they are incarcerated for indefinite periods of time awaiting
pickup by the boats, then forced at gunpoint onto the boats.
These are people who have suffered an incredible amount of frus-
tration, of deprivation and suffering. And they are then coming to our
country with one singleminded hope, and that is to be reunited with
families, with friends, to find a job, to resume a normal life.
On the other hand, it is our responsibility, as this committee and
you in particular, Madam Chairman, have emphasized to us-and I
think quite properly-it is our responsibility to see that these people
are processed, that they are screened, that the shortcuts are minimized
if not eliminated; that on the one hand we do everything we can to
minimize the suffering, to accelerate the process of family reunifica-
tion, and on the other hand we do everything we can to protect the
community by proper screening and processing.
That's not an easy set of policies to balance, but a necessary one.
And I think we have been doing that. And I think we have big prob-
lems in the process. And the wonder is not that we have problems; the
wonder is that we do not have more.
One hundred thousand people in 6 weeks! 1 think the results have
marked an achievement in organization and of management on the
part of Mr. Macy, on his part, on the part of INS and all of their people
Now, where do we go from here ? We have briefed the leadership of
the key congressional committees this morning, as you know, with re-
spect to the options that we see, seeking consultation, seeking judg-
ments from the experienced Members of the House and Senate with
respect to the possibilities for legislation, with respect to the merits of
moving under existing legislation, and with respect to the various
I was remarking on the difference between this caseload and the
Indochinese caseload. And I might add that there's a certain amount
of nostalgia involved in commenting on the differences in processing
what we have now compared to what we had then. In fact, of the more
than 100,000 people who have arrived to date, almost 50 percent are
back with families in the space of 6 weeks. In 1975, the Indochinese
spent an average of 100 days in the encampments. That was in the face
of a fully funded benefits system, a different culture, one which was
considerably easier to resettle and to work with.
So I would ask with great sincerity that this committee, while it
focuses on the problems-and we have many-it's been helpful in the
past with its questions. We expected to respond to the limits of our
ability. But I am concerned. I am concerned that the people of this
country need only a little encouragement to believe that the old tradi-
tion represented by the Statue of Liberty is somehow obsolete, that
our place as an asylum and refuge for desperate people is somehow no
longer entitled to the high place in our democratic values that it's
I don't think that's true. I think the flames of reaction are being
fanned. I think the events at Chaffee have been terribly damaging, and
I think we must do everything possible that we can to protect the
values that are involved in the influx of these people into our country,
who so desperately need help.
We'll be glad to take your questions.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you, Ambassador Palmieri.
Without objection, since you have a written statement, the text of
that statement will be incorporated into the record.
[The complete statement follows:]
TESTIMONY OF VICTOR H. PALMIERI. UNITED STATES COORDINATOR
FOR REFUGEE AFFAIRS
Madam Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: I appreciate the oppor-
tunity to bring you up to date on the processing and resettlement of recently
arrived Cubans. The sudden influx of these exiles presents us with unprecedented
humanitarian, political, budgetary, and legal challenges. The Administration Is
committed to keeping the Congress informed on the evolution of the situation
and ways to resolve it.
On May 13, I presented to the full Judiciary Committee three principles on
which we have based our response to the sudden influx of Cubans:
First, we are offering temporary asylum to arriving Cubans while we consider
their claims for permanent asylum;
Second, we are seeking ways to make the flow from Cuba safe, orderly and
In accordance with our own Immigration laws; and
Third, we are contacting other nations and international agenices and en-
couraging their participation In the solution of this problem.
These principles remain the basis of our approach today, although the magni-
tude of the exodus has changed considerably.
Yesterday the cumulative total of Cuban arrivals in the United States since
April 14 reached 103,238. This includes 6,258 passengers who arrived on 53
vessels yesterday at Key West. Almost 800 vessels have been seized by the U.S.
Of the total Cuban arrivals, 48,914 have already been resettled, leaving 54,324
In the processing pipeline. Over 18,000 remain at Fort Chaffee, almost 19,000
at Indiantown Gap, some 6,300 at Eglin Air Force Base, about 6,000 at Fort
McCoy and 1,525 in Miami.
At Eglin Air Force Base last Sunday, over 100 of the 430 who were released
for resettlement were "walk-outs," i.e. arrivals who were screened and immedi-
ately released to relatives. This new "walk-out" program appears to be working
well and is being used to hasten early release to relatives.
Undocumented Cubans who arrive at Key West are given preliminary screen-
ing by an interagency group which includes representatives from the Immigration
and Naturalization Service (INS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
and other agencies in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration and
All arrivals are medically screened, as required by law, under the general
direction of the Public Health Service. Medical treatment or hospitalization is
available for those who need it. Arrivals found to have been convicted of a serious
non-political crime or who otherwise constitute a threat to the community have
been detained in federal facilities. A total of 681 persons or one percent are
currently being detained by INS for convictions of serious crimes.
I returned from Fort Chaffee late Monday where a small group of recently
arrived Cubans had caused considerable property damage. We are mounting a
strong effort to convince the Cubans of the advantages of law and order in camps
until orderly resettlement can be provided. Thirty-six of the participants have
been arrested and placed in the post stockade. The trouble was started by a small
but tough hard-core group who took this opportunity to demonstrate their
strength and ability to dominate others in the camp. They constitute a small num-
ber of approximately 19,000 arrivals at Fort Chaffee. An interesting sidelight to
this event is that a number of Cubans at Fort Chaffee wore white arm bands
during the melee in an attempt to identify themselves with those who wanted
to stop the demonstration.
The recent Cuban influx and resettlement efforts on their behalf present a
different set of circumstances from that of the Indochinese program in 1975. At
that time, the wide sympathy and acceptance of the refugees translated into
appropriations of over $400 million. The caseload consisted largely of families
and individuals of special concern. There was no question about their status as
political refugees. Full reimbursement was provided to the states for all costs
associated with the program. The voluntary resettlement agencies received $500
per person in reception and placement grants. With these advantages, some 125,-
000 persons were resettled from the camps in eight months with a peak rate of
about 25,000 per month. The average resettlement time was three months.
The present situation is quite different from 1975. First, we are dealing with a
different kind of population. Of those remaining in the processing centers, a
large percentage consists of single males and others who may be more difficult
to resettle than families. Second, there are significant, well-established Cuban
communities in the United States. And third, the resettlement structures of the
voluntary agencies are much stronger and better organized than they were at
the onset of the 1975 crisis.
Our major resettlement resources are the voluntary resettlement agencies.
While we are considering other ways to tap into the resettlement potential of the
American community, we are supporting the voluntary agencies and helping them
to get into high gear. Their task is a difficult one and although their major con-
cern is to arrange for sponsorship, they have contributed greatly in assisting
in out-processing procedures.
The pressures for rapid resettlement continue to exist, however, and in addi-
tion to humanitarian and financial considerations, include the urgent need to
reduce in-camp tensions by showing substantial out-movement.
Since to date the Cubans and Haitians have not been determined to be refugees
as a group, they are therefore not eligible for the full range of benefits authorized
by the Refugee Act of 1980.
With respect to the second principle I mentioned earlier, we have taken meas-
ures to make the flow from Cuba safe, orderly and in accordance with our own
Since the President's announcement on May 14, the INS. Coast Guard and Cus-
toms have collaborated to halt the flow of boats to Cuba. The Coast Guard has
successfully persuaded vessels heading south to return to Florida. The estimate
of southbound vessels has dwindled to a trickle of three or four a day. from an
average of 70 before May 14. The INS has issued over 1.500 Notices of Intent to
Issue Fines, and hundreds of vessels have been seized and are awaiting further
legal action. All seized vessels are prohibited from leaving Florida and are sub-
ject to criminal action and fines up to $50,000 if they are apprehended transport-
ing illegal aliens.
In accordance with principle three, we are continuing to work towards inter-
nationalization of the Cuban exile problem. As I testified before the Senate on
May 13, we participated at a high level in the international conference called
by President Carazo of Costa Rica, held in San Jose on May 8 and 9. At the con-
clusion of the conference, which was attended by representatives of 22 nations,
the Holy See and several international organizations, the Government of Costa
Rica issued a final communique stating the "need for all governments and
international relief organizations to join their efforts in an international program
for resettlement of those wishing to leave Cuba and to offer material and finan-
cial support for the effort, including resettlement opportunities, commensurate
with their resources." The various representatives outlined the contributions
their nations could make, including offers of resettlement for Cubans who had
sought refuge in the Peruvian Embassy.
As a result of this conference, a trilateral group composed of the United States,
Great Britain and Costa Rica agreed to negotiate with Cuba an orderly program
for the departure of the Cubans who wish to leave Cuba. The group presented
a diplomatic note to the Government of Cuba requesting the opening of discus-
sions on this matter. Although the Government of Cuba did not accept the pro-
posal set forth in the note, we do not believe that the concept of an orderly depar-
ture has been rejected. In consultation with Great Britain and Costa Rica, we
will continue our efforts to establish a productive dialogue with Cuba. Whether
or not Cuba is willing to meet with us in a constructive manner is for them to
decide. But given that all governments are influenced by international opinion, we
intend to pursue these efforts even though they may be rebuffed initially.
In the event that an orderly departure program can be negotiated with Castro,
a list of persons eligible for consideration lo come into the United States will be
drawn in part from among those who have filed Immigrant visa petitions or
registered with the Family Registration Center in Miami. The Center has received
numerous applications, which the Department of Health and Human Services
will be processing in the near future.
In addition, we are continuing our efforts to internationalize the resettlement
of Cubans who have sought asylum in the United States. Argentina has sent a
representative to Elgin Air Force Base to select Cubans for resettlement. Australia
plans to send an immigration officer to the centers shortly to recruit up to 200
Cubans. These are important initiatives that we hope will be duplicated by other
countries. We have already consulted with the governments of Ecuador, Spain,
Peru, the Netherlands, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom,
Canada, Italy, Austria, Venezuela, Brazil, France and Costa Rica. We have asked
these nations to confirm to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) or to the Intergovernmental Commission for European Migration
(ICEM) their pledges made at the San Jose conference to accept Cubans. And we
have asked UNHCR and ICEM to arrange for the screening and transportation
of the Cubans willing to resettle elsewhere. Furthermore, last week in Geneva I
met with the ICEM and UNHCR executive committees, and they have agreed
to our requests to seek additional offers of resettlement for Cubans.
Regarding the matter of voluntary repatriation to Cuba, there are at least seven
persons who have requested to return. Four of them are detained at the Federal
Correctional Institute in Talladega, Alabama. The other three are located at
Eglin Air Force Base. Because of the nature of the exodus from Mariel-where
many Cubans were crammed on departing vessels, possibly not all of them will-
ingly-we expect there will be more people expressing a desire to return to Cuba.
As part of our agreement with the UNHCR, that organization will negotiate with
the Government of Cuba on arrangements for their voluntary repatriation, in-
cluding appropriate guarantees for their safety and well-being in Cuba.
I would like to conclude my testimony this afternoon by sharing with you
some of my concerns about conditions in the Caribbean and their Implications
for our refugee programs in the future.
As you well know, political, social and economic crises have been brewing in
the Caribbean for decades. Political systems range from various kinds of repre-
sentative democracy to authoritarian governments of the left and of the right.
Throughout the region, economic pressures for emigration are intense. The stark
contrast between economic prospects at home and those in the United States is
an important factor motivating emigration to this country. The resulting brain
drain deprives Caribbean nations not only of professional people, but of artisans
and technicians without whom there can be no meaningful development program.
At the same time, this situation presents the United States with the dilemma
of trying to allocate admissions numbers among the literally millions of people
who would like to come to this country.
We will continue to work with the Congress to find solutions to this problem
and specifically to resolve the remaining issues with regard to the current influx
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Our next witness will be David Crosland, the Act-
ing Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. We
also have a prepared statement from you. Without objection, it will
be included in the record. If you wish to summarize it or read it in
full, you may.
Mr. CROSLAND. Ms. Chairwoman, if I could, I would like to sum-
marize the statement.
I would like to echo what Ambassador Palmieri has stated. I think
a remarkable job has been done in 45 days in handling over 100,000
people who came here relatively unexpected. As of this morning,
104,135 Cubans have arrived in the United States on 1,671 boats.
Another 432 boats have arrived at Key West returning from Mariel
Harbor in Cuba, but carrying no passengers.
Initial processing of the Cubans at Key West occurred. Unat-
tached males and those without sponsors were processed at Eglin Air
Force Base, Fort Chaffee, Indiantown Gap, and Fort McCoy. INS
processed 77,530 Cubans to determine admissibility to the United
States. Public Health Service conducts medical and health screenings
Of the 104,135 people, 659 have been identified as having serious
criminal records or are mentally ill. Those persons have been held in
Federal facilities awaiting exclusion hearings. Such hearings began
yesterday on the persons who were held in the Federal prison at
All of the persons who have come here have been questioned by ex-
perienced INS officers. Names and fingerprint checks are sent to se-
curity agencies for record checks, and we have tried to obtain re-
sponses within 48 hours from the time the various security agencies
or intelligence agencies received the names.
There have been some delays in moving people from camps. I don't
think it's an unreasonable delay, given the amount of problems that
Six thousand, six hundred and sixty four people have completed
processing at Eglin; 8,969 at Fort Chaffee; 9,147 at Indiantown Gap;
and 2,389 at Fort McCoy. All are awaiting sponsors and resettlement.
INS has 622 employees conducting the processing. They are working
24 hours a day in two shifts, two 12-hour shifts. We have had as many
as 750 employees working at one time. INS is moving employees back
to normal duties as processing is completed. As Eglin, more than 100
INS employees have returned to their employment positions. A skele-
ton crew of 51 remains on duty.
INS employees were taken from scattered locations throughout the
United States to avoid serious disruption of normal business. No bor-
der patrol officers were moved from Chula Vista, Calif., which is the
heaviest border penetration area. Those border patrolmen from El
Paso were returned. El Paso is the second most heavily pentrated
area on the Southern border.
Now, the United States from the start has discouraged the entry
of Cubans into the United States as being a dangerous and illegal
boatlift. On April 23 INS issued a notice of intention to fine each boat
captain $1,000 per alien that were brought here, as well as notifying
them of the possibility that they might be prosecuted criminally. As
of this date, 1,637 notices of fines have been served on the boat
Boat owners can request cancellation of the fines within 30 days,
and thus far 40 have filed some sort of paper with INS in Miami as
to why they should not be required to pay either all or the full amount
of the fine. They're entitled to a hearing before the Distiict Director
and appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. No hearings have
been held to date, but thus far 48 fines have gone into default and the
owners have been served notice of the District Director's decision to
collect those fines.
Following an order issued by the President on May 15, the Customs
Service began seizing boats carrying illegal aliens and has seized more
than 900 vessels. INS and Customs are continuing to cooperate, carry-
ing out national policy, fining, seizing illegal boats. And this action,
I think, is effectively bringing to a halt the boatlift of U.S. boats
I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
[The complete statement of Acting Commissioner Crosland fol-
STATEMENT OF DAVID CROSLAND, ACTING COMMISSIONER, IMMIGRATION AND
Madam Chairwoman and members of the Subcommittee, I am appearing here
today to bring you current information on the entry and processing of Cubans
into the United States.
As of this morning 1,671 boats have brought 104,135 Cubans to the United
States. In addition, there have been 432 boats which have arrived, at Key West
returning from Mariel Harbor in Cuba, but carrying no passengers.
Initial processing is being conducted at Key West and after initial screening
family units and others with sponsors are transported to Miami for further proc-
essing and release to sponsors. Males who are not attached to families and
others without sponsors are sent to processing centers at Eglin A.r Force Base;
Fort Chaffee, Arkansas; Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania; and since last week to
Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. INS began processing people at Fort McCoy last Friday.
Through this morning INS had processed 77,530 Cubans at all centers. All
persons entering are medically screened under the direction of the Public Health
Service, and persons found in need of medical treatment are so provided. Hos-
pitalization, if required, is arranged through public health facilities, military
hospitals or local hospitals.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service also screens every entrant to
determine if they are excludable from the United States. To date, 659 persons
have been identified who were convicted of serious crimes or are mental cases.
Those convicted of crimes are being held in Federal Correctional Institutions at
Talladega, Alabama, where there are 390; at Atlanta, Georgia; where there are
183; and Miami where there is one. Of the balance, 36 are detained at the INS
detention center in Brooklyn, three in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in
New York City, 16 at Fort Chaffee and one at Indiantown Gap. There are 25
mental cases being held at Springfield, Missouri, and two drug addicts held al
The criminals include persons who were convicted in Cuba for crimes includ-
ing murder, homicide, robbery, theft, narcotics violations, assault, rape, car
theft and possession of explosives.
Only those persons with serious criminal records are held in detention. Exclu.
sion hearings will begin in the near future as soon as INS attorneys com-
plete preparation for the hearings and when responses are received from the
Department of State on the individual asylum applications. For those found
excludable following hearings, State will seek their return to Cuba.
In total, INS had identified 11,341 persons who had criminal records in Cuba.
but the large majority of those had been convicted for political offenses or petty
crimes that would not be considered felonies in the United States. There are
2,344 who were convicted of political crimes. Petty crime convictions included
such violations as black marketeering and petty theft.
Identification of persons who may be excludable is achieved through proce-
dures which have been effective in other emergency refugee processing situations.
All adults are questioned by experienced INS officers as to their past record.
Names and fingerprints are sent to U.S. security agencies, such as the FBI, Drug
Enforcement Administration and others to determine if they have information
on individuals. Turn around time for these name checks is two days.
Although processing center populations are swelling and there are delays in
resettling people, the reason is not due to delays in immigration processing or
name checks. For example, at Eglin Air Force Base there are 6,664 persons who
have completed processing and are awaiting resettlement. At Fort Chaffee there
are 8,969; at Indiantown Gap there are 9,147 and at Fort McCoy, 2,389.
INS has 622 employees on duty at the various processing centers, including
Miami. About 100 of these are permanently stationed at Miami, thus are work-
ing out of their regular duty station. The balance have been detailed to the
camps from other locations.
The number involved includes 130 Border Patrol agents and 492 immigration
officers and clerks, All INS processing personnel are working on shifts to enable
24-hour-a-day operations, except at Fort Chaffee, where there has been single
12-hour shift. That is now being extended to a 24-hour-a-day operation.
As the camps reach thtir maximum popualtions and all entrants are fully
processed by INS, we are beginning to move employees back to their normal duty
stations. At Eglin, which has reached capacity, we have moved more than 100
personnel back to their permanent positions, and kept a skeleton crew of 51 on
INS employees have been detailed from widely scattered locations to avoid
serious disruption in the normal flow of our business. No Border Patrol officers
have been moved from Chula Vista, the border area of heaviest illegal penetra-
tion, and none will be. Those who had been detailed from El Paso, have been
As you may be aware, the Government has from the beginning discouraged
the bringing of Cubans to the United States via a dangerous and illegal boat-
lift. Since April 23, when the first boat docked at Key West carrying Cubans,
INS has issued a notice of intention to fine to each boat captain, master or owner.
To date there have been 1,637 such notices served. All private or commercial
vessels and one small aircraft have been issued fine notices. The boat owner is
fined $1,000 for each alien brought to this country without documents.
The boat owners have 30 days to request cancellation of the fines, and to date
40 have done so. All fine proceedings are still pending. None have been cancelled
or otherwise settled.
Boat owners are entitled to hearings on their cancellation requests before the
INS district director, who may either cancel the fine or impose the entire amount.
There is no litigation on the amount. The entire fine is assessed or eliminated.
The district director's decision may be appealed to the Board of Immigration
Appeals. No such hearings have been held.
Prior to the President's statement on May 15 only boats that met certain
criteria were being seized by the Customs Service. Just nine had been seized
up to that date. Since May 15, however, all boats returning to the United States
with undocumented Cubans aboard have been seized by Customs, and the total
now stands at just over 900.
INS is continuing to serve fine notices on all such boats, and notifies Customs,
who then makes the seizure. The combined policies of fining and seizing are ef-
fectively bringing the boat lift to a halt, and we do not anticipate that further
large numbers of Cubans will arrive on U.S. boats.
That concludes my prepared statement, and I will be pleased to answer your
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you, Mr. Crosland.
Our next witness is Hon. John Macy, the Director of the Federal
Emergency Agency. Mr. Macy, I see that you do not have a prepared
statement for us.
Mr. MACY. I am available to you and the members of the committee
for any questions you may wish.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Do you have any further comments with respect to
any statements that have already been made?
Mr. MACY. Very briefly, Madam Chairwoman, I would like to in-
dicate that in the management of this very substantial and unexpected
program, there has been a high degree of cooperation among the Fed-
eral agencies. I realize a question has been raised by you and your
committee about the appropriateness of this agency in this particular
area of responsibility. The selection of the Federal Emergency Man-
agement Agency is in accordance with its purpose of creation in Re-
organization Plan No. 3, the establishment of an agency to serve as a
coordinator, not as a commander of the various agencies involved in
dealing with emergencies of various kinds.
The process has been one of establishing a Federal coordinator for
the overall operation located in Miami and to have Federal coordina-
tors at the other points within the system where processing is taking
We have had many problems to deal with, problems relating to
housing, feeding, medical care and the other services that are neces-
sary in handling large numbers of people.
There have been problems in providing the necessary transportation
to move them from the point of entry at Key West to Miami, to Pensa-
cola, to Fort Smith, to Indiantown Gap, and now to Fort McCoy.
We believe that these movements have been made with due con-
sideration of efficiency and compassion for those involved. We have
been working closely, examining those processes and detecting wherein
there may be undue delay, and how we can facilitate and expedite the
processes, without in any way shortcutting the necessary requirements
that must be met for any individual entering the United States.
We have found that there are ways to modify the process in order
to expedite it. We find new developments with each passing day. One
of the developments has been the heavy presence of relatives of those
that are in the processing centers appearing at the centers, and desiring
to have immediate access to the refugee there present and to secure
We have had a slower outflow than I predicted when I was before
you on May 13. But I believe that there is a gradual acceleration in
prospect. I do not have any precise numbers to give, because part of
the difficulty has been the forecasting of workload that is going to take
place. Obviously, it is our hope and desire to see a reduced and regu-
larized flow-if there is to be one continued-and to be able to reduce
the magnitude of the system that we are presently managing.
Our desire is to have advice and assistance in constantly improving
the system so that it can function as effectively as possible.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you. Our next witness is Dr. Robert Fischer,
Associate Director of the Office of International Health and the Public
Dr. Fischer, I understand you do have a prepared statement, and
without objection, it will be incorporated in full in the record at this
Would you be good enough to summarize it ?
[The statement of Dr. Fischer follows:]
STATEMENT BY ROBERT D. FISCHER, M.D., ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR/INTERNATIONAL
HEALTH, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Madame Chairwoman, members of the committee, I am pleased to appear
before you today to review the results of the health screenings performed on
newly arriving Cubans and Haitians who are seeking asylum in this country.
Accompanying me is Dr. Merlin Brubaker, who-as of this week-is my suc-
cessor as director of Refugee Affairs with the Public Health Service. I have been
assigned by PHS to the U.S. Mission to the World Health Organization in
Switzerland, an assignment planned many months ago.
As you know, the Public Health Service has from the start of the influx of
Cubans been heavily involved in health screening and processing of asylum ap-
plicants, working under the direction of the overall Federal Coordinating Agency,
the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Public Health Service mandate
to oversee medical screening of Immigrants into the United States in an effort
to detect dangerous communicable diseases and mental disorders is contained in
our Nation's Immigration Laws. PHS currently has 92 staff members, including
physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, and environmental health specialists, work-
ing at the various camps and processing centers.
To date, analysis of screenings for 64,602 of the some 100,000 Cubans who have
arrived in Florida has been completed. I would like to provide you with a statis-
tical breakdown of this analysis and compare the findings, to the extent possible,
with incidence of disease rates for the American and Cuban populations to build
a frame of reference for the committee. I will address the health status of
Haitians later In this testimony.
PHS has now completed analysis of 55,711 screenings for syphilis. Of this total,
2,530 tested positively, indicating either an active infection or what is referred
to as a "Wasserman-Fast" condition- meaning that they have had the disease in
the past and though treated will always test positively.
Using the 2,530 positive tests as a base, Cubans screened to date have demon-
strated a syphilis incidence rate of 4.5 percent, compared with the 1977 U.S.
syphilis incidence rate of 0.03 percent, and compared with the reported Cuban
syphilis incidence rate of 0.04 percent. Only 11 Cubans to date have been diag-
nosed with infectious syphilis. All have been treated.
To date, PHS has completed analysis of 56,027 screening for tuberculosis. Of
this number, 328 or 0.59 percent have been classified as active or suspected active
cases, and 1,221 or 2.18 percent have been classified as inactive. Putting the sepa-
rate categories together, 2.77 percent of the Cubans tested to date have been docu-
mented as suspected active or suspected inactive tuberculosis cases. These rates
compare with a TB rate of 0.013 percent in both the United States and Cuba.
It is worth noting that, to date, only four cases of infectious tuberculosis have
been confirmed by laboratory tests.
The determination of exact statistics in the area of mental health problems is,
as I am sure you will appreciate, far more difficult than reporting on the analysis
of tests for specific conditions. The trauma involved in departing one's homeland,
usually amid hectic and frightening conditions-and usually in circumstances
that include leaving family and friends behind-can and often does produce tem-
porary symptoms of acute anxiety. Confinement in the camps under less than
optimum conditions can add to the mental unrest that many of the Cuban appli-
cants for asylum are experiencing.
As of Tuesday, 164 Cubans were being detained or were under observation for
suspected mental conditions. I cannot, unfortunately, provide you with cumula-
tive figures on the total number of suspected mental cases detained or observed
since the Cuban influx began. A number of referrals to mental health facilities
have been made in the Miami area prior to our screening.
A Public Health Service team is currently working in the various camps
checking the epidemiology of those suspected of having psychiatric problems, and
arranging for their care. Based on reports they will be making over the next
several weeks, we would expect to have a better overall picture of the extent of
mental health problems among the Cubans.
Of 64,602 Cubans screened for Hansen's disease, or leprosy, a total of 4-or
six/one-thousands of one percent-have been found to have the disease. All four
were immediately referred to the Public Health Service Hospital in Carville, La.,
which specializes in the treatment of Hansen's disease. I might add that Hansen's
disease, even in its most infectious form, is not highly contagious; the great
majority of Americans could not be infected with Hansen's disease under any
Two non-fatal cases of Group B meningitis have occurred at Fort Chaffee, Ar-
kansas. Both patients were males, aged 25 years and 39 years. Close contacts of
each patient received prophylaxis, and no further cases have occurred.
Atotal of 2,769 Cuban children and young adults have been immunized with
multiple antigen measle-mumps-rubella vaccine.
The information we can provide with regard to the health status of Haitian
arrivals dates back to the establishment in March of this year of a PHS-operated
health screening facility at the Federal Correctional Institute near Miami,
From that date until the present, we have screened 2,404 newly arrived
Haitians. Analysis of the results of these screenings indicate the following con-
firmed incidences of disease:
Fifty-nine of the Haitians or 2.5 percent screened at the federal correctional
institute have been documented as having either suspected active or inactive
cases of tuberculosis.
Thirty-six of these cases have been confirmed by further diagnostic work-up as
active tuberculosis and have been sent to the state hospital in Florida for
SYPHILIS AND/OR YAWS
I should explain at the outset that our statistics on syphilis and yaws are co-
mingled because although yaws is not a venerable disease, it is serologically in-
distinguishable from syphilis and requires precisely the same medical treatment.
To date, 504 or 20 percent of the male Haitians screened and 45 or 8 percent of
the female Haitians screened have tested positively for syphilis and/or yaws.
Only two of the 2,404 Haitians tested since March have been diagnosed as
having Hansen's disease.
In closing, Madame Chairwoman, I might add that the May 16 edition of the
Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report-90,000
copies of which are distributed weekly to physicians, health professionals, State
and local health officials and others throughout the Nation-carried an article
reporting on the results of the Cuban screening we had as of that date. This
Friday's edition of the same publication will update that information. I believe
we can fairly say that State and local health officials are being kept informed
of the health problems which the Cubans represent.
Again, thank you for this opportunity to appear before you. Both Dr. Brubaker
and I would be pleased to answer any questions you or the committee might have.
Dr. FISCHER. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman. I will, indeed.
As you are no doubt aware, the Public Health Service has, from the
start of the influx of Cubans, been heavily involved in the health
screening and processing of asylum applicants working under the
direction of the overall Federal coordinator here, FEMA, the Public
Health Service mandate to oversee medical screening of immigrants
into the United States, which is contained in our Nation's immigra-
The Public Health Service currently has 92 staff members, including
physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, and environmental health special-
ists working at the camps and the one processing center in Miami.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Dr. Fischer, I am going to have to interrupt you.
We now have second bells. We will recess to vote and return in 10
Ms. HOLTZMAN. The subcommittee will resume its hearing and Dr.
Fischer you may continue to summarize briefly your statement.
Dr. FISCHER. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
To date, the Public Health Service has completed the screening of
64,000, just over 64,000 of these some 100,000 Cubans who have arrived
in Florida. The PHS has completed the final analysis of 55,00 of the
screenings for syphilis of which approximately, of which 2,500, or just
about 4.5 percent have proven positive. Only 11 Cubans to date, how-
ever, have been diagnosed with syphilis in an infectious state. And
all of these have been treated.
To date, the Public Health Service has also completed analysis of
over 56,000 screenings for tuberculosis. Of this number 328, or just
over one-half of 1 percent have been classified as suspected active
It's worth noting, however, that to date, only four cases of infectious
tuberculosis have been confirmed by laboratory tests and, again, these
people are also under treatment.
The determination of the exact statistics in the area of mental health
problems is, as I'm sure you'll appreciate, far more difficult than
reporting on the results of specific tests.
Ambassador Palmieri has already recounted for you some of the
tremendous emotional trauma that these people go through. And we
know that this experience and also the experience of the camps leads
to conditions which can cause temporary mental unrest in people.
As of June 3, yesterday, however, we had 164 Cubans who were
being detained or who were under observation as suspected mental
conditions. The Public Health Service has a team who is currently
working in the various camps checking on the epidemiology of those
who are suspected of having psychiatric problems and in arranging
for their care.
Based on the reports that they'll be making in the next several
weeks, we would expect to have a better overall picture of the extent of
the mental health problems among Cubans.
Hansen's disease, or leprosy, one of the diseases that we screened for,
I can report that as of the screening of 64,000 Cubans, we have identi-
fied only four persons or statistically, one six-thousandth of 1 percent
who have been found to have this disease. And all of them have been
referred to the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Carville, La.,
which specializes in the care of persons with Hansen's disease.
Because the committee has expressed interest in the past in the health
statistics from screening of Haitians in the southern Florida area, I
have included in my written testimony statistics summarizing the
results of that screening.
I won't go over them at this time, but if there are questions, of
course, I'd be happy to include those in further follow-up questions.
I would, in closing, add, Madam Chairman, that the May 16 edition
of the Center for Disease Control's publication called "Morbidity and
Mortality Weekly Report," over 90,000 copies of which are distributed
weekly to physicians and health professionals, State and local health
officers and other officials, health officials in the Nation, that edition
carried an article reporting on the results of the screening of Cubans
we had to date.
This Friday's edition, the same publication, will update that
I bring this to the attention of the committee because I believe that
we are doing the best job we can in keeping State and local health
officials apprised of the results of our screening operations.
Thank you, Madam Chairman. I'd be very happy to join the others
in responding to any questions the subcommittee may have.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you very much, Dr. Fischer.
Our next witness is a representative of the Department of Defense,
Togo West, Jr., General Counsel.
I understand, Mr. West, that you do not have a prepared written
statement. But I hope you will advise the subcommittee in your oral
statement of the responsibilities of the Department of Defense with
respect to the Cuban arrivals and what actions have been taken, what
authority exists, and what further actions will be taken by the
Mr. WEST. Madam Chairman, you're correct that I have no state-
ment. The Department of Defense role with respect to Cubans in
the United States is that of host, housekeeper, and more recently,
provider of transportation, entertainment, and provider of necessities,
and we have a duty to keep them safe and orderly during the course
of their term in Federal hands.
In the course of discharging those duties, we have invloved well
in excess of some 7,000 uniformed personnel of the Department of
Defense. 7,665 at the last count. They are spread in appropriate num-
bers at the five locations which I will be pleased to give you, if you
The largest number, as you might anticipate, is at Fort Chaffee in
Arkansas, which also has the largest number of refugees. It is equiva-
lent to a small city of about 18,000.
I think, if you wish, we can go into a discussion of the authorities in
terms of law enforcement and security now. Or, if you prefer, I would
answer questions on-
Ms. LOLTZAMAN. We invited you to come and I must express my dis-
may to you and to the other witnesses who did not prepare written
statements. These are very serious questions that the subcommittee
has. And as you know, we intend to exercise our oversight responsi-
bilities with great care and meticulousness, as we have in the past.
It enables us to sharpen our questions if you come prepared with
written statements and it enables us to ascertain for the Congress and
the American public how and the extent to which the various agencies
are discharging their responsibilities.
And so. I would hope that you would discuss the issue of the au-
thority of the Department of Defense with respect to security and
order at the camps, which is of utmost concern to me as chairwoman,
and I'm sure to other members of this subcommittee and to the Ameri-
Mr. WEST. You have my apologies and those of the Department.
No disrespect was intended to the Chair or this committee by failure
to submit a statement. Quite frankly, on the short notice we had,
I did not know that we were expected to be a primary witness and I
was given to understand that I was a backup.
But I would be glad to take those questions up now. With respect
to the authority to provide security and law enforcement at any of
these locations, let me say at the outset that it is the position of the
executive branch, the administration, and has long been, that in a
situation such as this, if law enforcement was to be provided, it would
be preferable if it were provided by Federal civilian law enforcement
I separate these matters into basically three to four kinds of law
enforcement or security or peacekeeping services. The first is perimeter
control. That is to say, walking the perimeter of the enclave, and if
that's different from the perimeter of the base, to assure two things.
First, that the normal responsibility of the base commander is
discharged. To keep off the military reservation those who are not
entitled to be on it.
Also, as part of the issue of perimeter control is the question of
controlling exit from the base. That is not something that a
commander normally does. We do not normally refuse civilians who
enter our bases permission to exit.
Normally, when we exercise control over the exit by civilians from
military bases, it is to assure the security of the base.
For example, we may exercise such control if they are carrying
items that are military secrets, or if they are exiting after having
committed some act that is prejudicial to the order of the base.
The second kind of law enforcement duty that would have to be
carried out with respect to that population would be internal peace-
keeping police-type patrols on that part of the base on which we have
concentrated these civilians.
That's a normal police patrol duty. It would also include not just
those on patrol, but a backup or reaction force presumably located at
a central location and who would be responsive to any requirement in
case of an emergency.
The third duty is occasioned more by the circumstances of this
group on the base than perhaps by normal goings on. That is the
maintenance of a kind of facility for segregation of those identified
either by their records or bv other sources of information available to
Immigration and Naturalization, the Justice Department, or any
other law enforcement agency as having committed crimes or of having
committed acts that make their segregation from the rest of the
Let me explore for a minute the way we are discharging those
The commander, under our belief of the law, under the Attorney
General's belief of the law, has all the authority necessary to maintain
order and discipline on a military base under his control. Where we
have dedicated a large portion of that base to occupancy purely by
civilians for the discharge of a civilian function, we are led to examine
the Posse Comitatus Act to make certain that the authority of the
commander is not somehow affected by the fact that a portion of that
base has been dedicated to that civilian occupancy.
The statute would prohibit us from using the military to enforce
civilian laws. In this case, our conclusion is that where there are
functions that are necessary to be done for law enforcement on the
base, the commander has the authority to do it. It might be better to
say that they are exercising the authority that is derived from the
President's role as the Commander in Chief. The military has the
authority to do it.
The way we have solved that situation on these bases is as follows:
Where we can find the resources so that civilian law enforcement
agencies, U.S. marshals, park police, the EPS, are able to discharge
those duties, they are doing so.
But where we cannot, that duty has to be done and it is being
discharged by uniformed military personnel. We assign military
personnel to these duties in two orders of priority, or rather in one
order of priority but on two levels.
One, we would prefer to use trained military or security police,
people who have some reasonable feel for law enforcement duties.
Second, where an emergency requires more, we have committed
troops that are basically untrained in the art of law enforcement. I
believe that is true only at Fort Chaffee. We have divided those
responsibilities among the bases as follows. At Key West, that facility
had been, until quite recently, handled solely, I believe, by the U.S.
Marshals. A further adjustment has been made there so that most of
the duties, internal policing duties, are still being done by civilians.
There is some assistance by the military, but the large U.S. Marshals
contingent that was there has been moved to Eglin Air Force Base,
where they are discharging the internal patrol function.
Item No. 2 of the three items I described to you, the perimeter
control at Eglin Air Force Base is being done by uniformed military,
the air security police and the detention facilities are, at Eglin, as at
every location, being manned by civilian law enforcement officials.
We believe that the least desirable of all the situations is when
military personnel are used to detain civilian personnel for long
periods of time.
At Fort Chaffee, virtually all of the perimeter and internal functions
are being discharged by uniformed military. The number is-in excess
I'll have it back to you shortly. In excess of 2,000 there.
At Indiantown Gap, we are presently handling the perimeter
control. In fact, let me make it easier. The perimeter control at all
these locations is being done by uniformed military. At Indiantown
Gap, we are doing the police patrols with a mixture of civilian/
Federal law enforcement officials from several agencies.
In the near future, by the end of this week, I think, but other people
are in charge of this, not Defense, that will be changed to entirely
Executive Protective Service.
At the remaining bases and at any new bases that we may establish,
we proceed on the assumption that, it is very difficult on a short fuse to
pull together from so many different sources the necessary number of
Federal/civilian law enforcement officials to discharge all these duties
that we say we would prefer to have discharged by civilians.
So, it will be done by uniformed military police or air police, or if
they are not available, by, frankly, foot soldiers that we will have to
bring in and try to give quick training in crowd control techniques.
That is an overview of what we are doing, what we think our
authorities are and how we are breaking it down at each of the
I will now, or at sometime later in these hearings, be glad to respond
to your questions.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. West, would you be good enough to describe the
situation with regard to exit authority at each one of these camps?
Mr. WEST. Yes, there are two questions that are raised and they both
derive from the basic question of what is the authority of the com-
mander of the base to keep civilians from leaving the base when they
Certainly, there is authority for the commander to detain anyone
who has committed an offense on the base that prejudices the order of
the base because the requirement and authority is to keep order. If
civilians commit an act on the base that prejudices its order, we believe
the commander has the authority to detain them.
Even then, however, it is a detention. It is not an arrest. It is not a
taking into custody for a substantial period of time. It is to detain for
only so long as is necessary to permit the commander to turn the of-
fender over to the civilian law enforcement authorities.
We do not deviate from that and it is our belief that that is required
Proceeding from that assumption, or as a part of that, there is also
the authority of the commander to assign portions of his post as places
where people may not go. He may do that with civilians.
In this instance, we believe that the authority of the commanders
would be as follows: The commander can assign the Cuban undocu-
mented aliens to a location on that post which we will call an enclave,
which we have called an enclave, by posting sufficient instructions re-
quiring that they remain there.
If they attempt to leave, he is authorized to detain them, to return
them to the location. If it becomes a matter that requires something
more than mere detention, he is authorized to turn them over to
The next question I think would involve the question of whether, if
they get beyond the enclave, he then has authority to retain them on
Our view on that is this: He has the authority to stop them, to in-
form them of the restrictions that have been placed on them by the
Attorney General through the Immigration and Naturalization Serv-
ice, and then to turn them over to civilian authorities.
It is acting on that basis that a commander would keep the Cubans
from leaving military bases.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. One final point, Mr. West, that you addressed in
your opening statement. You discussed what authority a base com-
mander would have.
Would you be good enough to tell us what authority has been spe-
(ifically given to the Defense Department by the Commander in
Mr. WEST. Prior to the first part of this week, commanders at all
bases within the United States operated on the same set of rules, which
is that they did not detain civilians who wished to depart from their
base, unless those civilians had committed an act on the base that by
itself would justify detaining and turning them over to civilian law
On Monday of this week, we were instructed to instruct our com-
manders that at the locations at which we have Cubans being hosted,
as it were, they are to detain Cubans, prevent them from departing the
base-I'm sorry-keep them in the enclave to which they have been as-
signed, inform them that the remainder of the base is a place to which
they may not go, and further inform them that if they violate that re-
striction, they will be detained and either returned to the enclosure
or turned over to law enforcement officials.
Commanders have been instructed to keep Cubans within the en-
claves on their bases.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. West.
Our next witness is Rear Admiral Costello of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Mr. Costello, I understand you have no written statement.
Admiral COSTELLO. That's correct. I have to plead guilty, Madam
Chairman. The invitation was not received until late yesterday. I would
like to summarize very briefly our contribution to this overall effort-
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Admiral, could I ask you to address one of the
points I am concerned about-namely, what is the policy of
the Coast Guard with respect to freighters coming into this country
from Puerto Rico or Jamaica? What are you going to do about them?
Would you address that as part of your statement?
Admiral COSTELLO. I will. We are responsible for the water side por-
tion of the overall management of this refugee problem. It is perhaps
the area that has received less attention than the shore side.
To put it in perspective, we have now about 4,000 Coast Guard men
and women in the Florida area in one way or the other connected with
this operation. This represents about 16 percent of all the people in
the Coast Guard. We've got 14 cutters, 25 aircraft, in addition to the
normal complement of equipment assigned there. We've moved units
from the west coast, gulf coast, the east coast, and the Great Lakes to
augment our forces down there. We have been supplemented by three
Navy ships which have been assigned to work for us in handling refu-
gee search and rescue.
This has caused us to severely strain our ability to meet needs else-
where in the United States. Yes, we did call up our Coast Guard Re-
serve backfill in the areas away from the Florida area to attempt to
meet the level of services throughout the United States as is expected
by the American public.
We've looked at the management of the problem as having two
aspects: one, the safety aspect of the people at sea; and the second, the
law enforcement aspect. I might say parenthetically concerning
Mr. West's discussion about posse comitatus that the Coast Guard,
from it's very origins, has been a law enforcement agency, and we are
not under the bounds of posse comitatus.
Now, looking at the safety side, so far there have been 1,148 search
and rescue cases. We were fearful of the safety aspect. The boats that
were going to Cuba are small, generally operated by people who were
unqualified, and we expected that they would be overloaded, but we
didn't anticipate the degree of overloading actually encountered. To
give you some perspective, the 1,148 search and rescue cases in 3
weeks is more than three times the level of search and rescue that would
ordinarily occur. That we is to say the number of cases would expect
to occur anyplace else in the United States.
But Madam Chairman, just for purposes of clarification-
Mr. BUTLER. By cases, you mean individual persons or ships, sir ?
Admiral COSTELLO. It could be either, sir. In some cases, it's an in-
dividual who has been injured. In some cases, it's a boatload that is
Mr. BUTLER. A boatload that is sinking is one case?
Admiral COSTELLO. Yes sir, it is one case.
Mr. BUTLER. Thank you.
Admiral COSTELLO. We believe 25 people have died to date but we
do not know exactly what the number is. The problem is that because
the Cubans don't tell us when they're leaving, there's no way of know-
ing if everyone arrived. But of those that we are aware of, there have
been 25 lost lives out of 104,000 that have arrived. We are a pretty
proud organization, but even that, for us, that's a pretty incredible
To give you a practical example of the overloading, there are about
13 of you on the dias now. The dias is about 25 feet long. If you were
a boat of the size of the dias coming back from Cuba, there would
be 60 of you up there. You'd be jammed into this space all the way
from Cuba for about 15 hours. It's a very difficult situation out there.
We have gone to the Cuban Border Guard and appealed to them
to stop this dangerous overcrowding. We had, prior to this, good re-
lationships with the Cuban Border Guard. The border guard which is
roughly our equivalent in search and rescue matters. We've repeatedly
pointed out to them the overloading conditions and have received no
We have also presented the matter to the United Nations, specifically
to the International Maritime Consultative Organization. Appealing
to that organization to which Cuba is a signatory, to speak out on
the issue. I am happy to report to you that we were successful IMCO
has taken a position on the matter. In so doing we even got the Rus-
sians to agree that this was not something that should be done.
So safety has been the paramount issue in our minds out there. Law
enforcement is a secondary issue in our mind, but it is something we
clearly have responsibility for. We have stopped southbound traffic
of U.S. vessels. There have not been any in the last 2 weeks. There
were many attempts initially after the President's direction to us to
stop it. Some got through, a few. Many were turned back, and in some
cases, we had to seize the boat at sea and tow it back. We have done
that. The flow south has stopped.
Ms. Holtzman has raised the question of freighters, and I think
you're referring to the foreign-flag vessels, which have been involved
in this exodus. Foreign-flag vessels pose a very difficult problem. The
United States recognizes nobody's authority over U.S.-flag vessels.
On the high seas, we're in a difficult position to even ask to assert our
authority over a foreign-flag vessel, when we are unwilling to grant
the same prerogative to a foreign country.
Over the weekend, a vessel did depart Mariel under the Panamanian
register by the name of Red Diamond. I believe that's the vessel you
were referring to Madame Chairman. It arrived in Key West on Mon-
day with about 731 people on board. We did detain the vessel for ap-
proximately 6 hours on the high seas. While in consultation with the
State Department, the Government of Panama was contacted, and a
request was made to the Panamanians to give us authority to enforce
U.S. law on a Panamanian vessel, or failing that, asked Panama to
exercise its own authority.
The reply was, they could not give use authority to exercise U.S.
authority over the vessel which is considered a piece of Panamanian
territory, that they were unable to enforce their own law because
they had no resources but they would proceed directly and expedi-
tiously with the Cuban Government to ask them to cease and desist this
sort of practice in the future.
That wasn't much help in the instant case. The decision was made
that conditions at sea and the condition of the people was such that
the only humane thing to do was to bring them into Key West. That,
we did. I can report to you that this afternoon or this morning, an-
other Panamanian-flag vessel by the name of Paradise, incongruous
name, departed Mariel with a group of Cuban Americans who had
contracted for the vessel to bring back their relatives, and the Cuban
Government refused to load any passengers on that vessel.
So, I think we have made progress in the area-that you're concerned
with by using State Department intersession with the foreign coun-
I think I should end by talking about our coordination that has been
a matter of some concern to the committee. I can speak about the co-
ordination where the sea meets the shore. I can assure you that the
relationship between the Immigration and Naturalization Service,
the Customs Service, the U.S. attorney in Florida, and the Coast
Guard couldn't be better.
We have a three-man boarding team meet every vessel with a repre-
sentative of all three law enforcement agencies. An assistant U.S. at-
torney is on the dock. I don't think we could get it any closer than that.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you very much. I'd like to explore first the
issue of who is in charge.
Admiral, you just said a decision was made with respect to the Red
Diamond. Who made that decision ? Whom did you call?
Admiral COSTELLO. We consulted with Ambassador Bowdler on
whether or not we should deny entry for Red Diamond vessel. The
State Department is the decision point for foreign policy matters;
co_111 n i91 -
insofar as a law enforcement decision is concerned, the U.S. attorney
is the one.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Is the State Department making a decision with
respect to the treatment of these boats and with regard to the arrival
of Cubans without consultation with other agencies ?
Mr. PALMIERI. Let me try to outline the process. I don't think it's at
all obscure. I think it's mandated by the particular logistical and other
complexities of this case.
I think the question is appropriate and needs to be answered. First
of all, the President early on, because of the need to activate defense
facilities, because of the need to tax the agency funds, set in motion a
management process which at the operational level was placed directly
under the gentleman to my right, Mr. John Macy, who is in charge oi
the Federal Emergency Mandate Agency, which is specifically
authorized and formed to deal with emergency logistics issues and is
quite expert at it.
That occurred as a direct result of my consultations in Florida soon
after the arrival of the boats in the clear necessity of activating Federal
facilities with the maximum possible speed.
The President asked one of his senior aides, Jack Watson, who is
secretary to the Cabinet, an aide in charge of intergovernmental rela-
tions, because of the particular importance of the State and local con-
nections, to provide direct policy oversight from the standpoint of the
Mr. Watson and I have collaborated-I, on behalf of the State
Department, with respect to the international area, all of us at this
table forming part of the team which has met on a nearly constant
basis at the White House to control and maintain a flow of decisions
on these processes.
So what I think your question may be implying is that the U.S.
coordinator, as the office was set forth in the statute, was to be desig-
nated as an emergency management agency. If it was, it was not staffed
up for that. It was not funded for that, and the fact the extraordinary
connection of an international crisis with a domestic crisis here, which
is exactly what we have-remember, that this came out of the series of
events in the Peruvian Embassy. We had our staff in Costa Rica-
our Latin deskman in Costa Rica-working in UNHCR, and when
the first boat arrived, we got FEMA activating the Federal bases
within a matter of a few days, and we have dividedd up" in the way
I've described since that time.
Now, the decision that you asked about, Madam Chairman, a decision
which Admiral Costello had to carry out, had to go through the State
Department because of the international connections, had to come
back to the White House policy group. But that was an easy one,
because the President had already made it quite clear that maximum
enforcement would be brought to bear in connection with all vessels
violating his May 14 directive.
Admiral Costello had a judgment to make on a shipload of people,
mostly families, women and children, somewhat perhaps as a matter
of strategy, but if so, infinitely artful strategy in the process of child-
birth on board. So there was no question about the fact that there were
more humanitarian issues as a result of the treatment of that boat.
We're not embarrassed by having it brought to port, having arrested
all who were involved in that voyage. All involved in that voyage
have been arrested, and all will face prosecution. The boat will be
seized. Fines will be levied. The full extent of the law will be brought
to bear on that boat. But as I say, that decision followed the general
policy directive that we had from the President and the White House.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Ambassador, I'm still a little puzzled by your
response because we saw at Fort Chaffee over the weekend, for example,
a real question as to what authority the Defense Department had.
Is this something that is resolved by the White House, or is this
something that is resolved by the people in operational charge of the
program ? And is Jack Watson running the program or are you, or is
Mr. Macy, or all of you?
During the Vietnamese resettlement effort, there was one person in
charge. We had a domestic coordinator for that program.
Mr. PALMNIERI. Well, those were simpler days. This is a first-
class international and domestic crisis, and much as I would like to
give you a simplified answer, let me simply tell you that that decision
is made at the White House, and it was made after what I think was an
important discussion about how far the military should go in enforcing
laws against civilians.
Now, it may look to you like confusion. To me, it looks like good
government. I like to see a government that's concerned about the
application of military law and military force to civilians, and I
suggest to you that that was precisely the objective. And it was deter-
mined under the circumstances-of all the circumstances of that case-
that the military had all the authority necessary, and the specific direc-
tive was given to maintain order, and as the General Counsel of the
Defense Department has said, to keep those Cubans on the base. That's
what's being done.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Let me just see if I can get an answer from the De-
fense Department. Who do you go to when you want to know what
your responsibility is?
Mr. WEST. I will answer that question. Let me say, there was no
confusion at Fort Chaffee or at the Defense Department as to what the
instructions were or who they would come from. The commander on
that base gets his instructions from his superior officer, who in turn is
responsible for being part of the chain of command that brings author-
ity and instruction from the Commander-in-Chief to that base
The instructions in the commander's mind were very clear. And
when they were changed, he knew of it within hours.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Well, who do you go to to get those instructions?
Mr. WEST. Well, we get our instructions and have been getting our
instructions on the use of military personnel from the Commander-in-
Chief through those channels thet he has designated.
Ms. HOLTZ.AN. And that is? What are those channels?
Mr. WEST. In this case, our consultations have been carried out
under the authority or under the guidance of the Assistant to the
President, Jack Watson. It's been very clear.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mv time has expired.
Mr. DANIELSON. I'll be glad to yield back some to you.