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CARIBBEAN REFUGEE CRISIS:
CUBANS AND HAITIANS
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
UNITED STATES SENATE
MAY 12, 1980
Serial No. 96-58
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY
U. S. DESTORY
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
63-998 0 WASHINGTON : 1980 .
MONDAY, MAY 12, 1980
Opening statement of Senator Kennedy------------------------------ 1
Opening statement of Senator Thurmond----------------------------- 2
Opening statement of Senator Metzenbaum--------------------------- 3
Opening statement of Senator Laxalt--------------------------------- 3
Opening statement of Senator Dole---------------------------- 4
McCarthy, Most Rev. Edward A., Archbishop of Miami, Fla.; Msgr.
Bryan Walsh, director, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Miami; and
Donald Hohl, associate director, migration and refugee services, U.S.
Catholic Conference, Washington, D.C. -----_-__-----. --._----- 7
Palmieri, Hon. Victor H., Ambassador at Large, and U.S. Coordinator for
Refugee Affairs, Department of State, and Hon. Charles B. Renfrew,
Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice------------------ 25
Fauntroy, Representative Walter E., District of Columbia; Rick Swartz,
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law; Vivien Boulos, trans-
lator; Father Gerald Jean-Juste, director, Haitian Refugee Center,
Miami, Fla.; Daniel Voltaire, Jocelyn Marcellus, and Merillien Mezius,
Haitian refugees from Miami, Fla --------------------------------- 53
McCarthy, Archbishop Edward A ---------------------------------- 23
Palmieri, Hon. Victor H ------------------------------------- 47
I. "Report on the Status of Human Rights in Haiti," Organization of .
American States, April 17, 1980 -------------------------- 66
II. "Violations of Human Rights in Haiti, 1980," Lawyers Committee for
International Human Rights__ --- ------------------ 149
III. "Report of Department of State Study Team on Haitian Refugees,"
Department of State, June 19, 1979 --------------------------- 202
IV. Statements submitted for the record on Haitian refugees ----------- 216
CARIBBEAN REFUGEE CRISIS:
CUBANS AND HAITIANS
MONDAY, MAY 12, 1980
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9 a.m., in room 2228,
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (chair-
man of the committee) presiding.
Present: Senators Kennedy, Metzenbaum, Thurmond, Laxalt,
Dole, and Hatch.
Also present: Jerry Tinker, counsel to the Committee for Immigra-
tion and Refugee Affairs.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR KENNEDY
Senator KENNEDY. The committee will come to order.
The committee meets this morning to assess the worsening human
crisis among Cuban, Haitian, and other Caribbean refugees coming
to our shores.
We are concerned today about the chaos surrounding thousands of
boat refugees. We are concerned about the steps our Government has
taken and should take to deal with this crisis.
This desperate flight of humanity on the high seas endangers the
lives of thousands of men, women, and children each (lay.
It also threatens to disrupt the economy of Florida and other States
and is undermining the integrity of our Nation's immigration laws.
All Americans want to open their arms and hearts to the homeless,
and to see that families are reunited. However, we cannot welcome
refugees if there is no order to their movement, no screening to help
them, and no funds to support them.
Day after day, for the past 4 weeks, we have seen this humani-
tarian and political crisis grow increasingly out of control, with no
decisive action or leadership capable of meeting the challenge.
QUESTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED
We want to know this morning what steps the administration is
taking diplomatically to internationalize this problem.
We want to know when and if the U.N. High Commissioner for
Refugees has been invited to use his good offices to coordinate the
departure of refugees from Cuba and their resettlement in countries
other than the United States.
We want to know whether the High Commissioner has been invited
to help in the relocation centers in Florida and elsewhere, as he was
during the Indo-Chinese refugee evacuation in 1975-so that he can
provide the overall policy guidance and international support for our
The United States now faces the problems similar to those of many
other countries of the first asylum, such as Austria, Malaysia, and
Thailand. The international presence and participation of the U.N.
High Commissioner can help to ease our problems as well.
We also want to know what progress was achieved at last week's
conference in Costa Rica.
We want to know whether the administration has urged other coun-
tries to receive their fair share of refugees.
We want to know whether the administration is prepared to nego-
tiate seriously with Cuba for humane and orderly refugee procedures,
similar to those concluded in the 1960's.
We want to know what the administration intends to do with the
thousands of Haitian boat people also reaching our shores-and why
it has closed its eyes to their suffering over the past weeks and months.
We must deal humanely with those who are here and fairly with
those who arrive in the future, using the terms of the Refugee Act of
Refugee problems have always been of deep concern to the American
people. The United States has a long and distinguished humanitarian
record in this area.
Indeed, as a nation of refugees, we take pride in America as a haven
for those seeking freedom from oppression in other lands and a better
chance in life.
Today, the American people must ask what more is expected of
them. We must know what the number of new refugees will be, and
what our Government is doing to cope.
We can and must help refugees.
But we can and must expect our Government to plan, to organize.
and to involve other countries in these critical humanitarian issues.
America's door to refugees will remain open only so long as we prove
to the American people that by admitting refugees we are not dis-
placing Americans from jobs or opportunities-and that our Govern-
ment is administering refugee programs efficiently and fairly.
Our first witness is Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy, of the Arch-
diocese of Miami. Hle is accompanied by Msgr. Bryan Walsh, the
director of Catholic charities in the Miami Archdiocese, and Donald
Hohl of the U.S. Catholic Conference.
They have just toured Key West and the refugee processing centers
in Miami. We have asked each of them to give us, at the outset, the
benefit of their firsthand report and their long experience in dealing
with both Cuban and Haitian refugees.
But, before we ask them to proceed, I will see if any of our colleagues
have opening comments.
I will recognize the Senator from South Carolina.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR THURMOND
Senator THURMOND. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, what we are seeing now, I think, is a picture that
will never be forgotten. It is a picture of people seeking freedom, a
people seeking to get away from oppression, a people who have been
persecuted. No one can attach blame to them for their desire to remove
themselves from such a situation.
On the other hand, America cannot take everybody who wishes
to come here. America is known as the land of freedom. It is a haven
for the oppressed.
At the same time, it seems to me plans must be worked out to get
the cooperation of other countries. There are other countries in Cen-
tral America and South America that could cooperate in this matter
and that should cooperate.
I believe with the right contacts they will cooperate.
So, I am of the opinion that steps must be taken, they must be
taken at once, to prevent an unusually large flow of people come here
who we are not prepared to take care of all at once and get other
countries to take these people as a permanent haven, rather than for
all of them to come to America.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Metzenbaum?
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR METZENBAUM
Senator METZENBAUM. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased you have seen
fit to have these hearings this morning.
I think there is nothing confusing the American people more than
what our policy is with reference to the refugees from Cuba, as well
as the refugees from Haiti.
I find, as I travel back in my own State, people asking me: What is
our policy? How do you explain the fact that we have an open-door
policy, and then we arrest boat owners for their activities in bringing
Cubans into the United States?
I find others saying to me: How do you determine that it is political
repression from which Cubans are escaping in Cuba and it is economic
considerations only causing Haitians to come here? Who has been so
omniscient to be able to explain that?
I find other Americans who are saying to me in my own home
State: Can our economy accept unlimited numbers of Cubans
when there is tremendous unemployment in our own Nation?
I, myself, recognize that there are very few of us who sit in America,
whose forebearers did not come also as immigrants, in some instances,
as refugees, in years gone by.
I do not see how we can slam our doors shut, but I don't know how
we can make distinctions between certain groups of refugees and
immigrants and others.
I hope in some way we may get some clarification as to what our
Nation's policy is and how we do intend to cope with this very serious
and very emotionally disturbing problem.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Laxalt?
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR LAXALT
Senator LAXALT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
At the outset, I want to commend the chairman of this committee,
Senator Kennedy, for holding this important and timely hearing.
The sudden influx of refugees caught the present administration by
surprise. This resulted in a mixed and sometimes confusing response
to the crisis. I hope this hearing will help clear the record.
The United States has a strong tradition of providing asylum for
political refugees. This humanitarian tradition must become the policy
of the Carter administration. This policy of asylum must be communi-
cated by actions which will assure the speedy, peaceful, and orderly
flow of Cuban refugees seeking political and economic freedom in the
In the last 3 weeks, 38,000 Cuban refugees have arrived safely in
this country. It is estimated that an additional 100,000 are waiting in
the Cuban port of Mariel to embark to Florida. My position on the
Cuban refugees is clear. They are unfortunate victims of a tyrannical,
Communist regime. These people have taken advantage of a temporary
opening to vote with their feet against the Communist dictatorship
of Fidel Castro.
Castro has not only destroyed political freedom in postrevolution-
ary Cuba, he has ruined its economy as well. Before Castro, Cuba
had a strong and vigorous economy. Today, despite massive Russian
economic aid, Cuba has the lowest standard of living in Central
Whether the current refugees come for political or economic reasons,
Cuba's loss will be our country's gain. Recent history shows that
Cuban immigrants are a vigorous and adaptable people. This immi-
gration, which began in 1956, has resulted in an influx of productive
energy that has been a boon to the Florida economy. A labor pool
was created on which a person would take any job, work for almost
nothing just to get ahead. The arrival of the Cuban immigrants has
meant more jobs, not fewer.
These latest refugees from Cuba are not coming to the United States
by accident. They are coming because the hopes of those that pre-
ceeded them were largely realized. The streets of Little Havana in
Miami are not paved with gold, but hard work, thrift and enterprise
which brought rewards that were not imaginable in Cuba.
The response of the Cuban American community to this exodus
from Cuba was immediate and spontaneous. Within days they
privately raised and collected millions of dollars in food and clothing
for the newcomers. Fully one-third have already found homes with
friends or relatives. Hundreds of volunteers have been mobilized to
provide legal and medical services as well as to help the refugees
through the bureaucratic maze of immigration. The enthusiasm,
industry, and self-sufficiency demonstrated by the Cuban American
community bodes well not just for the arrivals, but also for our
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Dole?
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR DOLE
Senator DOLE. Thank you Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased to be
able to participate in today's hearing.
I think the concerns I will express in my statement have already
been stated. There are a number of them. I will ask that my statement
be made a part of the record.
First, there is the question of who is being admitted. I can say that
I think the people in the State of Kansas understand the distress of
many of those who have come to America in the past few weeks. But
they also have many questions about what will happen now that
these refugees are here. Will they become burdens? Will they take
someone else's job? These are all the normal questions.
I am not certain what we may achieve by today's hearing. I think
it is good we take a look at the situation. Maybe we can help the
administration devise a policy. There is no policy now that has been
At the same time, the flow of refugees has not followed a very easy
pattern to work with.
I just suggest, Mr. Chairman, that if we could be of assistance in
working out some orderly refugee policy, this hearing will do some
We all seem to be familiar through repeated press accounts with
the serious problems being caused by the dramatic flight of Cubans
to our shores. Yet the critical importance of this hearing is that, in
spite of all the debate one hears about whether the United States
should or should not admit large numbers of refugees, we really do not
have much hard information concerning the real impact this influx of
refugees is having.
Many people have observed that the entrance of such a large number
of Cubans into the Florida area will have significant disruptive effects
on the social and economic structure of that region. People say that
the economic situation in our country is so bad that these new people
will either take jobs from American citizens or will end up as burdens on
the State. Others are worried about the type of people who have been
coming here. They say that Fidel Castro is merely using this pitiful
exodus to empty his jails and dump the so-called undesirables of Cuba
on the United States.
In spite of all our woes in the world today, our country continues
to attract more immigrants than any other nation on Earth. The
motivation which stirred immigrants in past decades stirs the refugees
of today: People come here not only for better lives for themselves,
but for the real hope of a better future for their children.
And I believe Americans are proud of their land. We understand
the simple human striving starkly demonstrated in the current flight
of refugees from Cuba. That is why the real social and economic con-
cerns we hear discussed concerning the situation in Florida will not by
themselves shape our response to these Cuban refugees, though they
certainly must be responsibly addressed.
Getting the information needed to take the responsible steps is
what this hearing is about. We must determine not only what our
Nation can do to help, but we must evaluate what other countries can
and should be doing. What is our true capacity to accept refugees?
Must Florida bear the brunt of this refugee wave? How can private
organizations help? What skills do these refugees possess? These and
many other questions must be considered.
I look forward to hearing the testimony of today's witnesses.
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you very much.
We want to welcome Senator Chiles to the committee. He is not a
member of the committee, but the Senator from the State of Florida
is obviously most deeply affected by the current influx of Cuban
refugees. We welcome you to the committee.
Senator CHILES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator KENNEDY. We hope that you will involve yourself in the
committee's questions on this subject.
Senator CHILES. Thank you very much, Senator Kennedy.
ISSUES BEFORE THE COMMITTEE
Senator KENNEDY. Archbishop McCarthy, we look forward to your
I know you submitted your statement in advance. I suppose what I
and the committee would be very much interested in is your observa-
tion as one who has followed, and been very closely involved with, the
refugee problem in Florida.
I think we are interested in trying to determine whether you feel the
current crisis could have been avoided. Also looking at it from a
humane point of view, from the fact we are involved with individuals.
That is what my first concern would be and, I think also, for most
Could this really human crisis have been avoided?
To what extent, from your own knowledge and understanding, were
there warning signals on the horizon that perhaps should have been
But once it did arise, from your own knowledge and understanding
of the issue, do you think we could have taken steps to make it a more
orderly process, stressing the reunification of families and also reducing
the human anguish that is now involved in this tragedy?
Third, I think we would be interested in your recommendations
as to how we can best deal with the situation now.
Fourth, I would be interested, in what you think are the dimensions
of this crisis. Is it going to continue? What are the prospective numbers
from your own assessment? I know it is extremely difficult, but I think
the American people want to know what the dimensions of this crisis
may be and how we are going to handle it.
Finally, I would hope you would address not only the Cuban issue
but as I mentioned, the Haitian problem as well-about how we are
going to come to grips with that particular issue.
Obviously, Americans are enormously concerned today and I think
there are mixed emotions-as has been stated by all the committee
members here-of opening their arms and recognizing that we are a
nation of refugees and immigrants. On the other hand, we recognize
we can't receive all the refugees in this world. Yet we place a heavy
stress on family reunification.
The family is extremely important in our society. We recognize
that that should always be the first priority.
So, we look forward to your testimony. I know you have a prepared
statement. But, as you summarize or go through it, if you could make
some comments on these additional items, we would appreciate it.
STATEMENTS OF MOST REVEREND EDWARD A. McCARTHY, ARCH-
BISHOP OF MIAMI, FLA.; MSGR. BRYAN WALSH, DIRECTOR OF
CATHOLIC CHARITIES, ARCHDIOCESE OF MIAMI; AND DONALD
HOHL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, MIGRATION AND REFUGEE SERV-
ICES, U.S. CATHOLIC CONFERENCE, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Archbishop MCCARTHY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I believe my prepared statement does address itself to these ques-
tions you have raised. If there is any further clarification needed, we
would be glad to do that.
My name is Edward A. McCarthy. I am the Catholic Archbishop
of Miami, Fla., and with me today is Msgr. Bryan Walsh, our director
of Catholic Charities; and also Mr. Don Hohl, who is the associate
director of Catholic migration and refugee services, in charge of our
services at this time in Florida.
A few days ago, we spent several hours at Key West, Fla., visiting
the reception centers established by the U.S. Government, the State
of Florida, and Monroe County officials for the refugees arriving by
small boats from Cuba.
What we saw was a phenomenon unprecedented in our experience
in this century and which can only be compared to Castle Garden
and Ellis Island in New York of the last century. What is happening
today in Key West is an expression in our time of the words on the
Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled
masses yearning to breathe free." No true American could not but be
moved even to tears by the sight of these men and women, young and
old, being helped off the boats to begin the long process of public
health, immigration, and security checks.
STEPS TO FREEDOM
We heard stories of 20 years of v..ilin_, of separated families, of
days without food, without sanitary facilities.
Stunned by their experiences, most of those arriving were too
exhausted to display emotion. Yet, as they experienced the helping
hands and smiles of customs officials, National Guardsmen, U.S.
Marines, and Cuban-American volunteers, one could see their eyes
light up-incredulous that they had actually stepped on free soil.
In the church, St. Jude is honored as the patron of the impossible,
of the hopeless. One old Cuban woman who just arrived came to me
and asked where she might find a shrine of St. Jude, so she
might express her thanks for being delivered.
In a huge seaplane hangar, I had the privilege of celebrating mass
for thousands of refugees as they a waited patiently to be processed and
transferred to the new shelters that were being opened up in south
Florida and elsewhere on about an hourly basis.
There were many wet eyes as these people had their first experience
of religious freedom in many years.
We stood at the pier of the old naval base and saw a boat arriving
with 24 people. You and I would hesitate to even take a Sunday
afternoon ride, in a sheltered bay, in that type of a boat.
We saw shrimp boats so grossly overloaded there was no
room for the people to move. How they survived the 10- to 15-hour voy-
age from Mariel is beyond my imagination.
We saw one boat which threatened to capsize as the 200 or more
people on it moved to one side as it approached the pier, and their
eyes fell on free land for the first time.
MIRACLE SO FEW HAVE PERISHED
The miracle of this exodus is that so few people have drowned. By
every human standard, a major catastrophe is not only possible, but
to be expected. We can only say that God has been truly provident
in watching over this ragtag fleet, manned for the most part by in-
experienced crews. Horror stories of exploitation on both sides of the
Straits of Florida and disappointed hopes abound.
We must pay tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Coast
Guard, the Armed Forces, and the countless Cuban-American volun-
teers who have come from many parts of the country at their own
expense to offer their services.
The reception process is slow, but orderly. Conditions are primitive,
but safe. The daily life of our communities is going on, except for those
persons immediately affected.
Yet, we must recognize that many people are afraid and these
fears are being nourished by some irresponsible radio talk shows
which, in their greed to increase their ratings, exaggerate the impact
or potential impact and create situations in which rumors can quickly
become fact. Let me assure you that Miami and Key West are safe
and there is no need for anyone to fear visiting us.
We welcome this opportunity to express our views to the Senate
Judiciary Committee on how this emergency should be handled on
both the short- and long-term basis.
For 25 years in south Florida our social service agencies have worked
with refugees, from Italian war orphans and displaced persons from
Europe to Hungarian freedom flights, Cubans of the sixties and
seventies, and the Indochinese, Nicaraguans, and Haitians. We can
honestly claim a certain expertise in this area. Our warnings fell on
GENESIS OF CRISIS
When the freedom flights slowed down and financing expired in
1973, no reasonable process for uniting Cuban families was substi-
tuted even though the need was evident. In the euphoria created by
improved contacts between the two Governments, the need for some
process, while recognized, was largely ignored.
Even when 3,600 political prisoners were released by the Cuban
Government, the response of our Government was painfully slow;
18 months later, some 1,000 of such prisoners and their dependents are
still waiting in Cuba.
In addition, 18 months ago, the United States agreed to take those
political prisoners released before August 1978 and their dependents,
estimated to be 20,000 persons in all. They still wait in Cuba as pariahs
on the margin of that society.
In addition, we personally know of thousands who have been trying
to leave Cuba since 1960, but who never fell into the right category at
the right time. The enormous frustration thus created on both sides
of the Straits of Florida among separated families was bound to seek
an outlet once the opportunity occurred.
It happened before in 1965, and today history has repeated itself.
In December 1978, we had the opportunity to talk to Secretary of
State Vance and Assistant Attorney General Egan about these matters
and we predicted, unfortunately too accurately, what occurred at the
American Interest Section last Friday. Our only surprise was that it
took so long to occur.
DANGER WARNINGS TO ADMINISTRATION IN 1978
Senator KENNEDY. What was the reaction to those conversations
Archbishop MCCARTHY. We attempted to point out the crisis
which was developing. There was some expediting of the admission
of political prisoners, but really things didn't move as fast as we felt
they should have.
We have the impression that there was a great fear that among those
political prisoners there would be some who were a threat to our
national security. It seemed to us, at least, that extraordinary pre-
cautions were being taken, which were too strong. If Castro wants to
put people in our country, he can buy a $15 rubber raft and float them
We felt it was almost sort of paranoia. Naturally we are as com-
mitted to the national defense of our country as anybody else. We
thought it was too bureaucratic.
HAITIAN REFUGEES IGNORED
For 7 years, the church in south Florida has been pleading, along
with many others, the cause of our Haitian boat people.
Repeatedly, we have pointed out the discriminating practices of
the U.S. Government and the consequent impact on our community.
We welcome the decision of recent days regarding equal treatment
for both Haitians and Cubans, though at the moment the treatment is
equally inadequate and falls far short of the treatment accorded to
previous influxes of Cubans.
However, as a long-suffering community, we are thankful for small
As it has been implemented, the new Refugee Act of 1980 is proving
to be a mixed bag. We welcome the removal of the gross inequalities of
the previous legislation based on geopolitical considerations.
We welcome the long overdue adoption of the United Nations
definition of refugee. However, we must emphasize that the law falls
far short of implementing the United Nations Convention and Pro-
tocol on Refugees where the United States is the country of first
asylum for undocumented persons arriving here as refugees.
We called this to the attention of people involved in preparing this
legislation on a number of occasions, and we made offers to testify-
which were never accepted.
Again, this situation was foreseen but ignored.
Today, let me urge you to give this matter your most serious con-
sideration, and we urge the administration to involve this committee
and the House Judiciary Committee in developing as rapidly as
possible legislative solutions which will wipe the slate clean and pro-
vide for a reasonable response toward future arrivals. We offer our
help and experience in these matters.
We recognize the problems involved are both political and social.
The political we leave in your hands as being outside our competence.
SOCIAL FEARS OF REFUGEES INFLUX EXAGGERATED
The social we cannot ignore if we are to be faithful to our Judaic-
Christian religious heritage, to the ideals of this Nation and our
history as the church of the immigrants.
We recognize the fears people have, even if we judge them to be
exaggerated, we see the dangers of polarization, and we are not so
naive to think that the United States can in truth welcome even the
9 million refugees reported by the United Nations.
We recognize that there have to be reasonable limits. It would be
beyond the bounds of this presentation to make detailed recom-
NUMERICAL DIMENSIONS ARE SMALL
However, we respectfully suggest that within the refugee and/or
immigration total which last year reached some 600,000, the boat
people of Cuba and Haiti who arrived on our shores as their country
of first asylum, must be given a special consideration.
Even at the present time, we are talking about what is a relatively
small number. We think that these suggestions offer some long-term
solutions to our dilemmas.
In the meantime, both our Haitian and Cuban refugees and our
south Florida need short-term relief. We are not lawyers, but we are
told that there is a legal opinion that the President and the Attorney
General have the legal authority up to May 15 to grant political
asylum on a group or class basis to both Haitians and Cubans.
If this is so, then we urge this committee to advise the President
to exercise this authority, leaving all political considerations aside.
It offers the best possible solution for those who arrive before May 16
and for our communities.
We want to emphasize that this is a national responsibility. South
Florida has behaved magnificently in this crisis, which is not of our
INADEQUATE ADMINISTRATION RESPONSE
However, the Federal Government's response has been slow, con-
fused, and inadequate. It is improving daily. Anything you can do to
help us must be done.
Florida, Dade, and Monroe Counties cannot turn these people
away. We know that the United States cannot send them back.
The United States criticized similar actions on the part of some
Southeast Asian nations only a couple of years ago. We can under-
stand a certain delay in the Government's response, but now its
commitment to relieve the impact on south Florida must be accom-
plished. This can go a long way toward relieving community tensions
and reducing polarization.
The most serious problem we face is a lack of housing. This was
not true in the 1960's. It is also the principal area in which the Federal
Government has not responded over the past 20 years of the Cuban
influx. We have not received one extra unit of public housing. The
Federal Government owes us relief in that area.
NEED FOR ACTION
We assure you that we will cooperate and assist in every way
possible bringing reconciliation to our community. However, meaning-
ful reconciliation must be based on deeds not words.
Along with other resettlement agencies, our national agency, the
U.S. Catholic Conference Migration and Refugee Service is continu-
ing its work of almost 40 years by resettling this latest influx of refugees.
In addition to the some 9,000 Indochinese our agency is resettling
monthly, it has already come up with sponsorships, jobs, and housing
for 30,000 new Cubans and Haitians.
In conclusion, let me congratulate this committee on its initiative
for holding these hearings. We urge action, and we assure you of our
cooperation and assistance.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator KENNEDY. Let me thank you, for a very comprehensive
presentation and also for your personal insights on your visit to the
I think that your commendation for those who have been involved in
the refugee process will be extremely well received, as well as
RESPONSE OF U.S. GOVERNMENT
Now, you mention in your testimony the response of the U.S.
Government as being-I think your words were-"painfully slow."
Would you elaborate a little bit on why you reached that conclusion
or how your reached that assessment?
Archbishop MCCARTHY. Yes. Maybe I should ask my colleagues
who are with me, and who are much closer to that problem than I am.
Senator KENNEDY. Fine.
Archbishop MCCARTHY. As you know, there was a great deal of con-
fusion at first, exactly what should be the attitude toward the people
arriving, which naturally slowed down any kind of human response.
Even now, although certain units of the Government are there,
thank God, the processing, the screening, and the relocation, under-
standably, because of the great influx, is slow.
We also think we suffer a great deal because there simply hasn't
been granted to the refugees the status of refugee. If that happened,
it would expedite greatly many of the services that these people need
and are necessary m order to extend the human response to them that
we would be proud of.
APPLICABILITY OF REFUGEE ACT OF 1980
Senator KENNEDY. Well, just on this point-and I would then like
to hear from Monsignor Walsh or Mr. Hohl-is it your understanding
that the new Refugee Act could apply to the Cubans and that they
could be categorized as refugees?
Mr. HOHL. I don't feel that it was the intent of the act to treat this
group of refugees in the manner in which they have now been accepted.
Certainly a determination could have been made. A determination
could be made now, that they are refugees and, therefore, would be
eligible for all of the other benefits that the Indochinese are, and so on.
NEED FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE
Senator KENNEDY. I think this is an important point. This cer-
tainly has to be characterized as a refugee situation. First, there was
the initial consultation with the committee, on April 17, for 3,500
Cubans, and they were categorized as refugees.
This has not been done with the additional influx, although it is
certainly my understanding of the law that that could be done. And
if it were done, then all the communities in which these refugees
would be resettled would be eligible for help and assistance.
It just seems to me that the local communities which are most
affected, who are willing to welcome the refugees into their com-
munity, but wonder how they are going to be able to assume the
additional burdens they represent, should know that there is a way
and a means for their communities to be relieved of a significant
amount of that financial burden.
That has not been done by the administration yet. As we have seen,
just reading this morning's newspaper, there are going to be Cuban
refugees that are going to be placed in Pennsylvania, in Arkansas, in
the State of Maryland. Even though they are initially on military
bases, we find that many of them move off the base or they are settled
in local communities, and yet there has been absolutely no request by
this administration to regularize their status or provide Federal
support that would at least help to begin to assist local communities.
I think this is extremely important.
Monsignor WALSH. I fully agree with you on that because I think
one of the criteria that has to be applied to any possible solution of
this is, how much it relieves the impact on local communities, particu-
larly on the host community of south Florida.
This has been our argument for 7 years with regard to the Haitians.
(The Government has been in a position of saying, "All right. The
Haitians are coming in. They are not being admitted as refugees. We
'don't regard them as refugees."
Yet, the Government, for one reason or another, both due to due
process and the courts, has been unable to send them back. They have
left these people in a "no man's land," a nonstatus position, completely
dependent for 7 years, on local charity, unable to work, unable to get
work permits and the rest of it.
- Finally, last week, we got some breakthrough on that. But we are
very much afraid of something similar happening with regard to the
Cubans, especially when the aid was withdrawn about a week and a
half ago, in the middle of the crisis, which was a very unfortunate way
In fact, in one shelter, there were 400 people; 200 had been processed,
and 200 not processed. The 200 who were processed had checks in
their hands and the others didn't. So, this happened at 10 o'clock at
night. It was a very unfortunate way of handling things.
I think of the fact that Dade County could set up a shelter in a
matter of 3 or 4 hours and start processing people and moving people
through the pipeline, and it took 14 days for the Federal Government
to say that it was in charge of the process.
I think this is part of the slowness of the response that we have been
very concerned about. Meanwhile, this helped considerably to increase
polarization in our community. The ripple effects of this will continue.
CUBAN AIRLIFT IN 1965
Senator KENNEDY. Mr. Hohl, I know you have been involved
with refugees for many years, and before our committee a number of
times, but in 1965 we were able to regularize the process, were we
not, between Cuba and the United States-through negotiations
with the Cuban Government for the orderly departure of Cubans
coming to this country from 1965 to 1973?
Mr. HOHL. Yes, that was done through an agreement with the
Cuban Government, known as the memorandum of understanding,
whereby the United States submitted a list of people it was willing
to accept into the United States-these were relatives-to the Cuban
Government, which in turn agreed to let the people leave; and then
they were permitted to leave.
Once the name appeared on both lists, then they were allowed
to come in to the United States on an airlift, two flights a day, 5
days a week.
It was controlled. It was orderly. We had the ability in the meantime
to develop a screening process from the standpoint of security, and
it was a very, very successful program.
Senator KENNEDY. So it worked and it was done in an orderly
Mr. HOHL. That is true.
Senator KENNEDY. That was worked out with Cuban officials at
that time, as well as with American officials; is that correct?
Mr. HOHL. That is correct.
Mr. Chairman, Senator Thurmond mentioned in his remarks the
matter of the internationalization of the program. I recall back in
1965, that was one of the suggestions that you, Senator, had made
and had pushed for even at that time, certainly as has been done
with the Indochinese. The internationalization of this program should
be pursued, and I believe it would be successful.
Senator KENNEDY. As a matter of fact, as I understand, we actually
had Immigration Service personnel stationed in Cuba, involved
in the processing; is that correct?
Mr. HOHL. That is true.
Senator KENNEDY. This type of a process was worked out with the
Cuban authorities, with Mr. Castro.
Mr. HOHL. Yes.
Senator KENNEDY. A similar procedure has not been worked out
Mr. HOHL. Correct.
Senator KENNEDY. Would the church agencies cooperate with that
type of an approach, if such a program was worked out at the present
Mr. HOHL. Not only the church agencies, but all the voluntary
agencies that are involved in this movement. We certainly need an
63-998 0 80 2
orderly movement into the country. It is extremely difficult for us to
cope with the unregulated movement.
We certainly would welcome the orderly departure from Cuba to
the United States. It would also enable us to gear up, to plan and so on,
so that resettlement could take place expeditiously.
POSSIBLE DIMENSIONS OF CUBAN EXODUS
Senator KENNEDY. Archbishop, I would just ask a few more
What are we talking about in terms of the dimensions of this?
What is your sense? You were wise enough to foresee this problem
back in 1978. You warned the administration about the real pos-
sibilities of an exodus.
Now this has come true. What is your own sense, your own feeling,
about the dimensions? How extensive will this exodus be?
Archbishop MCCARTHY. Senator Kennedy, I will defer to Monsignor
Senator KENNEDY. Fine.
Monsignor WALSH. I don't think it is possible to give a figure on
the thing. We hear figures of 250,000 people already signed up.
We are given a figure that there were many more that the Cuban
Government was willing to allow to leave because they figure they
will never be converted to the revolution.
But what is happening, as long as the unregulated flow goes on, a
number of families to be reunited steadily increases.
Among those coming in at the present time are an enormous number
of single men; men just traveling alone. They are married. I talked to
a great number of them. They are married. They told me they had
wives in Cuba and families in Cuba. But obviously, they did not want
to risk exposing the wives and families to the situations, the exposing
the wives and families to the situations, the dangers-such as the
little girl who had both her arms broken that came in a week ago,
Saturday night by people beating them up as they went to the boat.
That sort of a thing.
Many feared to expose themselves. So, the men came. Or even the
families sent unaccompanied teenage boys out the same way, so they
could reclaim the rest of the relatives later.
So, as long as it is unregulated, there is no question the numbers
multiply very rapidly, of families to be reunited. It sets the stage for
future exodus. I think that should be kept in mind.
But right now, it depends entirely on the Cuban Government, you
know, how many they are going to let go, as long as the boats keep
going down there, and the avenue is opened. I don't think now it can
be closed unless some alternative is devised.
I Certainly, from our point of view, we would like to see somebody
like ICEM or the High Commissioner of Refugees really take this
whole thing out of both Cuban politics and American politics, the
whole thing, and make it a completely humanitarian effort.
I think that is the position we would like to see developed.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Metzenbaum.
RESULTS OF COSTA RICA CONFERENCE
Senator METZENBAUM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Do you have any special information as to the development of the
international conference that was held over the weekend?
Monsignor WALSH. No, Senator. All I have is what I read in the
papers. There was a rumor last night, you know, that nothing had
happened. But, I don't know what the story is.
Senator KENNEDY. Your judgment now is that this has deteriorated
just into a political exploitation of human beings for political purposes?
Monsignor WALSH. I frankly think that there are political motiva-
tions behind the Cuban Government's action in letting these people
I also think that the exodus in the last couple of years of political
prisoners and the rest have been tied down in a lot of political issues.
I think the humanitarian aspects have been overlooked.
ROLE FOR UNHCR
Senator KENNEDY. That is why you need a procedure for an orderly
process, working through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees,
and the church agencies which have the strong historical reputation
and background and knowledge about how these kinds of situations
can best be dealt with in a human and decent way.
I have heard-and it has been only in the last 36 hours-that the
U.N. High Commissioner has now been invited by this administration,
officially, to send representatives to Florida, even though there have
been many of us who have urged that they involve the High Commis-
sioner in this many weeks ago.
I think this delay is troublesome.
PROBLEMS OF HAITIAN REFUGEES
A final question, Monsignor: How many years have the Haitians
been in limbo-the subject of deportation proceedings and victims of
Monsignor WALSH. Senator, 7 years now since the first ones came in.
They were ordered deported. Many were deported, several hundred
were deported at different times, but basically the efforts to achieve
due process for them have held up the majority from being deported,
but left them entirely dependent upon private charity in the
I think due process is to be somewhat inhibitive when one has to
depend upon private charity. They cannot earn even a minimum
living without exploitation.
Senator METZENBAUM. Has this been more political? I am not as
intimately familiar with the subject as some are, but it seems to me
that there is a different treatment given to the Haitians as compared
to the Cubans, or each has a different type of constituency in America.
Monsignor WALSH. Well, under the old legislation governing re-
fugees, it was much easier to admit a group of refugees from a
Communist-dominated country than it was from a country that was
at the other end of the political spectrum.
That is one of the things the new law clears up. But there apparently
was a very definite policy decision in the present administration and
in the previous administration was carried over from the previous
administration that the burden of proof was on the Haitian to prove
that he was a political exile, whereas, no similar proof was demanded
from the Cubans.
The result is that of the 15,000 cases we are told that are on docket
in Miami, about 50 have been granted political asylum over the years,
and the others were all refused summarily or after some form of
This, of course, is in the Federal courts, and there will be a ruling
regarding class action in some 5,000 of them. We expect it today, to-
morrow, the next day.
PAROLE OF HAITIANS
Senator KENNEDY. Mr. Hohl, from your understanding of the immi-
gration law, is there any reason now that the administration couldn't
parole in the Haitians today?
Mr. HOHL. They could-
Senator KENNEDY. For the next 3 days only?
Mr. HOHL. They could, the Attorney General certainly does have
the authority under 212(d)(5) to do that. That authority, however, to
admit people as a group will expire on May 15.
Senator KENNEDY. So that expires in 3 days. But they have the
I think we are going to see a situation where the Cubans are certainly
going to remain here and be settled here. Yet, while the administration
still has the authority for the remaining 3 days on the Haitians, they
are not prepared to use it.
It seems to me that equity and justice demand they respond to the
needs of the Haitians.
Mr. HOHL. Mr. Chairman, if I may add that Monsignor has men-
tioned the fact we have some 1,5000 Haitians who must apply indi-
vidually for political asylum.
Under the terms of the admission of the Cuban refugees as of this
time, we are going to face a similar situation where you are going to
have tens of thousands of people who must individually make an
application for political asylum.
It is just inconceivable that we would thrust this burden upon the
refugees themselves; the U.S. Government and the persons in both
the private and public sector must bear such a momentous
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Thurmond.
CASTRO RELEASING CRIMINALS?
Senator THURMOND. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
I understand over the weekend that a captain of a boat went to
Cuba to bring some people back and he-was forced to bring back
convicts, mentally ill patients, and others.
Are you familiar with that?
Monsignor WALSH. We saw the newspaper report. And, of course,
if you want a comment on it, Senator, this is exactly what can be
expected when it is unregulated, unorganized, and unsupervised.
Senator THUIMOND. In other words, it looks like Castro is getting
rid of his criminals, his murderers, his sick and disabled and mental
patients by sending them here, instead of allowing those who seek
refuge, to come to freedom, to come in those boats.
Monsignor WALSH. This undoubtedly is happening. I don't think
it should be exaggerated, however, because the majority of those
who come here, the vast majority are truly humanitarian cases.
In some cases, those who have criminal records are part of family
groups, and separation, again, is a problem; they are families.
But, not all of-those who are characterized even by the Cuban
authorities as criminals, are criminals in our sense.
MESSAGE TO THE PRESIDENT
Senator THURMOND. A week ago, I wired the President this wire.
I want it to go into the record:
Mr. President, as you are aware, the Cuban refugee situation in south Florida
grows more critical each day.
As of today, more than 11,000 Cuban exiles have left Cuba to come to our
shores. Although these people are leaving a Communist dictatorship, we cannot
let this situation escalate at its current rate.
I urge you to ask the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to offer his as-
sistance in organizing the orderly flow of Cuban refugees to other Latin American
nations and other countries who may indicate a willingness to accept these
All available diplomatic channels should be opened in an effort to solve this
This should not become simply an American-Cuban problem. To share numbers
of potential refugees that may leave Cuba demands that a worldwide effort be
pursued by your administration.
The people of this country are displeased with this situation and are demanding
that immediate action be taken.
Now that was the text which I sent to the President.
I would be interested to hear this morning just what the admin-
istration is doing. The people of this country, from the communica-
tions that I have received, are deeply concerned. They are very
sympathetic to people who are seeking freedom, but again I say, the
United States cannot take all of these people.
INTERNATIONALIZATION OF CUBAN PROBLEM
Now, if arrangements are properly made, if plans are made, a lot of
these people could be taken directly to other countries if the contacts
were made, and they should have been made immediately. Or if they
are brought here they should be kept segregated and separated until
they can be transported to other Central American and South Ameri-
Central and South America have a great deal of territory. Of
course, you have been to Brazil. You have been to Colombia and
many other large countries that have plenty of area which could
absorb more easily some of these people.
The people of the United States have a big heart, big as any people
in the world. But, at the same time, we cannot be called upon to
permanently accept people on such a large scale and which would
violate the laws of this country.
It seems to me that this is a matter really that the United Nations
should take in hand. Our Government should see that that is done.
The people from Cambodia came out and the world, of course, co-
operated along that line. It was assumed it was a world problem.
This is a world problem, too.
We want to do everything we can to help these people who really
want to seek freedom. On the other hand, Castro, as I stated, is un-
doubtedly using it for his own purposes to get rid of people who he
may consider disloyal or people who might cause an uprising or people
who are sick and disabled and a burden upon his country.
Would you care to comment on that?
MOTIVES FOR CUBANS ENTERING UNITED STATES
Archbishop MCCARTHY. I could comment, Senator. First, I think
one of the problems I hear is with the Castro government itself not
cooperating in this sort of thing.
Second, I can see why so many of the Cubans are anxious to come to
the United States. Quoting from some statistics I have here, 76 per-
cent have relatives either in the Miami area or somewhere in the
Third, some of the reports we are hearing in Miami are that those
who have gone from the Peruvian Embassy to other countries are in
very dire straits, almost starving to death, because the other countries
are not properly receiving them.
Fourth, our country right now is receiving 600,000 a year.
We do have the Catholic Refugee and Immigration Service and
they tell us they can resettle them. I suppose I am just pleading that
we, as I know you want to, have a- very big heart responding to this
UNITED NATIONS SHOULD RESPOND
Senator THURMOND. Don't you feel that this is really a United Na-
Archbishop MCCARTHY. Oh, yes. I agree that it is a larger problem
than that of the United States.
Senator THURMOND. And that the United Nations should really
assume control and let us just cooperate like the other nations would
Archbishop MCCARTHY. I think that is the idea. We need that type
I also would simply comment that the Cubans are also a great asset
to our country. It isn't long before they are also taxpayers. I think
they demonstrated that marvelously in the Miami area. I think they
transformed Miami into a sort of an international trade center, because
Miami now is bilingual and bicultural.
I think it is benefiting our entire Nation.
Senator THURMOND. Well, the Cubans are very fine people. Cer-
tainly the United States is sympathetic to the plight which so many
of them find themselves now.
As I stated a few moments ago, you can't blame them for wanting
to get out from under the heel of a dictator, because I imagine the
situation, from what I heard about it there, is very similar to the
Soviet Union-a pure dictatorship-no right of trial by jury, no rights
of any kind; undoubtedly, they are persecuted.
At the same time, as I said, I think this is a United Nations problem.
It should be approached that way. Let us help and let other countries
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Metzenbaum.
Senator METZENBAUM. I have no questions. Thank you, Mr.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Dole.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
Senator DOLE. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
I think most of the questions have been pursued but precisely
what is it you would like this committee to do?
Monsignor WALSH. I think we would like this committee to urge the
administration to use the power that it has at the present time, that
we believe it has, to grant asylum to those Cubans and Haitians al-
ready here before May 15.
To use that power, tell them, since they are not going to be sent
back, we can do it either the easy way or the hard way. Now, under
the new law, we do it the hard way, one by one, at tremendous expense.
I think if we can do it the easy way, under the old law, it would be
I say the second thing is that an adequate response of Federal help
needs to be given so that no area that receives the Haitians and the
Cubans is impacted by their presence in an extraordinary fashion as
say, south Florida has been, not only for the past few weeks, but even
for the past 7 years in regard to the Haitians.
Those two things, I think, are two top priorities.
ARE HAITIANS ECONOMIC REFUGEES?
Senator DOLE. Have you had an opportunity to determine how
many of the Haitians, for example, are here because of economic con-
ditions as compared to persecution or--
Monsignor WALSH. When one, Senator, is against a government in
a country like Haiti, one has severe economic problems. There is no
question about that.
I don't think that anybody falls into a neat category, economic or
political. There are definitely mixtures of the whole lot, as they are of
the Cubans coming in, as they always have been among the Cubans
Someone who has come from Cuba, who has lost his property in
Cuba, certainly is an economic refugee. He may never have been in-
volved in political activity. He may have just fallen into the property
So, I don't think we can easily separate people into those two
CHARACTERISTICS OF CUBANS ARRIVING
Senator DOLE. Have you been able to determine the general socio-
economic backgrounds of the Cubans coming in the last 30 days.
Monsignor WALSH. The computer printouts of those who have been
processed in Miami indicates that they are very representative of the
Cuban nation as a whole, more representative than previous
There is a higher percentage of black Cubans among them. There
is a higher percentage of blue-collar workers among them.
They are much younger than the Cuban population, previous
Cuban population. Their average age is in the twenties, in the most
productive years of their lives.
Senator DOLE. Does that printout also give the percentage who
are here for reunification of their families?
Monsignor WALSH. Yes. It gives it very precisely. Those who
indicate they have families in the Miami area and those outside of
the Miami area, the figure the archbishop gave of 78 percent, or 76.5
percent, in the initial figures of those processed. That has been main-
tained as the computer keeps running with the new processing.
A very large percentage of them have relatives in the United
States, and close relatives in the United States.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEGISLATION
Senator DOLE. Beyond urging the administration to act by the 15th
of this month, in about 3 days, are there any other suggestions as far
as changing the act to be implemented on the 15th of May?
Monsignor WALSH. Yes?
Senator DOLE. Does the word "refugee" need redefinition or any-
Monsignor WALSH. I think the greatest concern I have about the
new act is that it doesn't give clear guidelines on how refugees who are
seeking asylum in this country as a country of first asylum need to be
handled. The way it handles the question as to who legally or illegally
or in whatever other way is in the United States and seeks political
asylum, is simply to say, "The Attorney General is to develop
It really doesn't give any guidelines on what those regulations
might be. I think we are concerned that guidelines are needed there,
that Congress needs to set a policy, a congressional policy for this
country, on how refugees who are seeking asylum in this country
as a country of first asylum need to be handled.
I think the law needs to be more specific in that regard than it is,
and not leave it up just to bureaucratic regulations.
ROLE OF U.N. AND VOLUNTARY AGENCIES
Senator DOLE. I am not certain of the efforts made, but I know in
1975, the Foid administration did certain things to help ease the
I hope to have that information. I assume we can make that a part
of the record. It may be something that this administration might
want to adopt as a policy of some kind.
Senator KENNEDY. That was when they utilized the good offices of
the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
It seemed to me that in these areas, as the monsignor pointed out,
that it would be useful in getting some kind of an orderly process
started if the U.N. High Commissioner were involved.
In 1975, the Ford administration utilized the High Commissioner,
had them over in Guam, and worked with the church agencies;
and effectively, it seems to me.
Monsignor WALSH. Senator, with regard to the Peruvian Embassy
situation, I understand that when it was a question of people moving
from the Peruvian Embassy to other countries a few weeks ago, I
think the Commissioner was also involved.
I know ICEM was involved in the arrangements for transportation.
We regarded this as a very big improvement that they were involved,
because of the problems that had existed with regard to the political
prisoners coming from Cuba, for the last 18 months, which had been
a very difficult situation involving the Commission of 1975, and those
We were glad to see ICEM as the agency that would make the travel
arrangements from Cuba to whatever country these people were going.
Senator DOLE. I just have one other question.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Dole.
LOCAL COSTS IN RESETTLING REFUGEES
Senator DOLE. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Maybe to ease the concerns of many who are writing us around the
country, now I understand, of course, Florida is a different case,
because it is a political problem there as well as a refugee problem.
That is not the case in most of the other States.
Many of the letters that are addressed to us indicate these people,
notwithstanding the burdens they carry now as they enter this
country, may become a burden to the taxpayers.
Maybe I should address the question to the next witness. Do you
have any figures on the numbers who come to this country from Cuba
who now receive SSI benefits or other benefits that might be made a
part of the record?
Monsignor WALSH. I know the figures are available and they are
extremely low. I believe they are below the American average the
last time I saw them, and certainly below the average for Dade
Senator DOLE. As far as the Haitians are concerned, it is my un-
derstanding, based on your comments, they have been surviving
because of the work of the charitable organizations or the efforts of
charitable organizations. There have been no Federal funds or pro-
Monsignor WALSH. The majority of them have not been even able
to get a work permit. If they have worked, they have worked for below
minimum wages, been exploited, because of their status.
Senator DOLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Hatch?
ECONOMIC V ERSUS POLITICAL REFUGEES
Senator HATCH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I just want to express my deep appreciation for all the good things
you folks have done in helping these poor people.
I have just one question. This Government's distinction between
economic refugee and political refugee-does it make any real sense
to you people who are dealing with these folks on a day-to-day basis?
Monsignor WALSH. No; it really doesn't make sense. In fact,
I think you know, there was a statement on TV this morning in
which illegal immigrants from Mexico were lumped together with
Haitians and with Cubans.
I think there is not an understanding that these people are in a
different category because of the reasons of why they are coming here.
Obviously, everyone who comes here expects to in some way improve
his life over what he has before. But the push that is moving people
here is political rather than economic alone.
I think that we have to keep these people in a very different category
from other aliens who are illegally in this United States and attempting
to find work.
Senator HATCH. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
USE OF THE REFUGEE ACT OF 1980
Senator KENNEDY. Just one final question to see if I am correct.
Is it your understanding of the refugee legislation that the administra-
tion could have amended the 3,500 requests to include the 35,000 now,
here under the Refugee Act, after consultation with the Judiciary
Committee, and thereby make available to local communities the
whole range of Federal assistance under the Refugee Act?
Mr. HOHL. I see no reason why it could not have been (done. After
all, when we are talking about the 3,500, we were talking about, first
of all, a group of people coming from Cuba. We are talking about
a group of people who wanted to get out of Cuba, a group of people
who had sought asylum in the Embassy of Peru, and in fact, a good
many of the people who are coming in at the present time are able
to board the ships at Mariel simply because they have been in the
Embassy of Peru. *
There is no distinction that I can see, between that group and the
group coming in now. It is only larger.
Senator KENNEDY. So that could be done even now, which the
administration has not done.
Second, with regard to the Haitians, and I think you answered this
before, that it is your understanding of the existing law that they
could parole the Haitians into the United States, at least they have the
power and the authority to do it for the next 3 days.
Mr. HOHL. They have the power.
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you very much.
Senator THURMOND. Thank you gentlemen.
Senator METZENBAUM. Thank you.
Senator HATCH. Thank you.
Archbishop MCCARTHY. Thank you.
Mr. HOHL. Thank you.
Monsignor WALSH. Thank you.
Senator KENNEDY. I hope you will keep in touch with the committee
just generally on this, and we will keep in touch with you.
Archbishop MCCARTHY. Thank you. We certainly will, Senator
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you.
Mr. HOHL. Thank you for the opportunity to appear.
[The prepared statement of Archbishop McCarthy follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP EDWARD A. MCCARTHY
My name is Edward A. McCarthy. I am the Catholic Archbishop of Miami,
Fla., and with me today is Msgr. Bryan Walsh, our director of Catholic Charities.
A few days ago, we spent several hours at Key West, Fla., visiting the reception
centers established by the U.S. Government, the State of Florida and Monroe
County officials for the refugees arriving by small boats from Cuba. What we saw
was a phenomenon unprecedented in our experience in this century and which can
only be compared to Castle Garden and Ellis Island in New York of the last cen-
tury. What is happening today in Key West is an expression in our time of the
words on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled
masses yearning to breathe free." No true American could not but be moved even
to tears by the sight of these men and women, young and old, being helped off the
boats to begin the long process of public health, immigration, and security checks.
We heard stories of 20 years of waiting, of separated families, of days without
food, without sanitary facilities. Stunned by their experiences, most of those
arriving were too exhausted to display emotion. Yet as they experienced the help-
ing hands and smiles of Customs officials, National Guardsmen, U.S. Marines, and
Cuban American volunteers, one could see their eyes light up-incredulous that
they had actually stepped on free soil.
In a huge seaplane hangar, I had the privilege of celebrating mass for thousands
of them as they waited patiently to be processed and transferred to the new shel-
ters that were being opened up in south Florida and elsewhere on about an hourly
basis. We stood on the pier at the old naval base and saw a boat arriving with 24
people that you and I would hesitate to take a Sunday afternoon ride in, in a
sheltered bay. We saw shrimp boats so grossly overloaded that there was not room
for people to move. How they survived the 10 to 15 hour voyage from Mariel is
beyond my imagination. We saw one boat which threatened to capsize as the 200
or more people on it moved to one side as it approached the pier.
The miracle of this exodus is that so few people have drowned. By every human
standard, a major catastrophe is not only possible but to be expected. We can only
say that God has been truly provident in watching over this rag-tag fleet, manned
for the most part by inexperienced crews. Horror stories of exploitation on both
sides of the Straits of Florida and disappointed hopes abound.
We must pay tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Armed
Forces, and the countless Cuban American volunteers who have come from many
parts of the country at their own expense to offer their services.
The reception process is slow, but orderly. Conditions are primitive, but safe.
The daily life of our communities is going on, except for those persons immediately
affected. Yet, we must recognize that many people are afraid and these fears are
being nourished by some irresponsible radio talk shows which, in their greed to
increase their ratings, exaggerate the impact or potential impact and create
situations in which rumors can quickly become fact. Let me assure you that
Miami and Key West are safe and there is no need for anyone to fear visiting us.
We welcome this opportunity to express our views to the Senate Judiciary Com-
mittee on how this emergency should be handled on both the short- and long-term
basis. For 25 years in South Florida, our social service agencies have worked with
refugees from Italian war orphans and displaced persons from Europe to Hun-
garian freedom flights, Cubans of the sixties and seventies and the Indo-Chinese,
Nicaraguans and Haitians. We can honestly claim a certain expertise in this area.
The present exodus was an accident waiting to happen. Our warnings fell on deaf
ears. When the freedom flights slowed down and financing expired in 1973, no
reasonable process for uniting Cuban families was substituted even though the
need was evident. In the euphoria created by improved contacts between the
two Governments, the need for some process, while recognized, was largely ignored.
Even when 3,600 political prisoners were released by the Cuban Government, the
response of our Government was painfully slow. Eighteen months later, some 1,000
of such prisoners and their dependents are still waiting in Cuba.
In addition, 18 months ago, the United States agreed to take those political
prisoners released before August 1978 and their dependents, estimated to be 20,000
persons in all. They still wait in Cuba as pariahs on the margin of that society. In
addition, we personally know of thousands who have been trying to leave Cuba
since 1960 but who never fell into the right category at the right time. The enor-
mous frustration thus created on both sides of the Straits of Florida among
separated families was bound to seek an outlet once the opportunity occurred.
It happened before in 1965, and today history has repeated itself. In December
1978, we had the opportunity to talk to Secretary of State Vance and Assistant
Attorney General Egan about these matters and we predicted, unfortunately too
accurately, what occurred at the American interest section last Friday. Our only
surprise was that it took so long to occur.
For 7 years, the church of South Florida has been pleading, along with many
others, the cause of our Haitian boat people. Repeatedly, we have pointed out the
discriminating practices of the U.S. Government and the consequent impact on
our community. We welcome the decision of recent days regarding equal treatment
for both Haitian and Cuban, though at the moment the treatment is equally
inadequate and falls far short of the treatment accorded to previous influxes of
Cubans. However, as a long suffering community, we are thankful for small
The new Refugee Act of 1980 is proving to be a mixed bag. We welcome the
removal of the gross inequalities of the previous legislation based on geopolitical
considerations. We welcome the long overdue adoption of the United Nations
definition of refugee. However, we must emphasize that that the law falls far short of
implementing the United Nations Convention and Protocol on Refugees where
the United States is the country of first asylum for undocumented persons arriving
here as refugees. We called this to the attention of people involved in preparing
this legislation on a number of occasions and we made offers to testify which
were never taken up. Again, this situation was foreseen but ignored. Today, let
me urge you to give this matter your most serious consideration, and we urge the
administration to involve this committee and the House Judiciary Committee in
developing as rapidly as possible legislative solutions which will wipe the slate
clean and provide for a reasonable response toward future arrivals. We offer our
help and experience in these matters.
We recognize the problems involved are both political and social. The political
we leave in your hands as being outside our competence. The social we cannot
ignore if we are to be faithful to our Judaic-Christian religious heritage, to the
ideals of this Nation and our own history as the church of the immigrants. We
recognize the fears people have, even if we judge them to be exaggerated, we see
the dangers of polarization, and we are not so naive to think that the United
States can in truth welcome even the 9 million refugees reported by the United
Nations. We recognize that there has to be reasonable limits. It would be beyond
the bonds of this presentation to make detailed recommendations. However, We
respectfully suggest that within the refugee and/or immigration total which
last year reached some 600,000, the undocumented alien boat people who arrived
on our shores as their country of first asylum must be given special consideration.
Even at the present time, we are talking about what is a relatively small number.
We think that these suggestions offer some long-term solutions to our dilemmas.
In the meantime, both our Haitian and Cuban refugees and our South Florida
need short-term relief. We are not lawyers, but we are told that there is a legal
opinion that the President and the Attorney General have the legal authority up
to May 15 to grant political asylum on a group or class basis to both Haitians
and Cubans. If this is so, then we urge this committee to advise the President to
exercise this authority, leaving all political considerations aside. It offers the best
possible solution for those who arrive before May 16 and for our communities. We
want to emphasize that this is a national responsibility. South Florida has behaved
magnificently in this crisis which is not of our making. However, the Federal
Government's response has been slow, confused and inadequate. It is improving
daily. Anything you can do to help us must be done. Florida, Dade and Monroe
Counties cannot turn these people away. We know that the United States cannot
send them back. The United States criticized similar actions on the part of some
Southeast Asian nations only a couple of years ago. We can understand a certain
delay in the Government's response, but now its commitment to relieving the
impact on South Florida must be full. This can go a long way toward- relieving
community tensions and reducing polarization.
The most serious problem we face is a lack of housing. This was not true in the
1960's. It is also the principal area in which the Federal Government has not
responded to over the past 20 years of the Cuban influx. We have not received one
extra unit of public housing. The Federal Government owes us relief in that
We assure you that we will cooperate and assist in every way possible in bring-
ing reconciliation to our community. However, meaningful reconciliation must be
based on deeds not words. Along with other resettlement agencies, our national
agency, the United States Catholic Conference Migration and Refugee Service,
is continuing its work of about 40 years in resettling this latest influx of refugees.
In addition to the some 9,000 Indochinese our agency is resettling monthly, it
it has already come up with sponsorships, jobs, and housing for 30,000 new Cubans
In conclusion, let me congratulate this committee on its initiative in holding
these hearings. We urge urgent action and we assure you of our cooperation and
Senator KENNEDY. Our next witness, Ambassador Victor H. Palmieri,
who is the U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs. Also Judge Charles
Renfrew; we are glad to welcome you to the Judiciary Committee.
Judge RENFREW. Thank you, Senator,
Senator KENNEDY. I haven't had the opportunity to greet you
here before the committee recently.
We remember in the past, when you testified before the committee
on a number of different matters affecting the judiciary. We are glad
to have you here today.
Judge RENFREW. Thank you Senator.
STATEMENT OF HON. VICTOR H. PALMIERI, AMBASSADOR AT
LARGE AND U.S. COORDINATOR FOR REFUGEE AFFAIRS, DEPART-
MENT OF STATE, AND HON. CHARLES B. RENFREW, ASSISTANT
ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Senator KENNEDY. Mr. Palmieri, we welcome you here to the
I was reading in the paper this morning, in the Washington Post,
where it seems that Mr. Watson is calling the signals from the White
House and coordinating the refugee program, and John Macy is in
charge of part of the refugee program, yet you have been designated
as in charge of the refugee program.
I hope that you are going to be able to give us all the information
on the administration's policy toward this problem, because it does
seem that authority is somewhat dispersed across the landscape.
Maybe you would define immediately who is doing what and how
it is being coordinated.
Mr. PALMIERI. I would be glad to do that, Mr. Chairman. It seems
to me what you just recited is quite true; that is, that this emergency
is being coordinated at the highest levels of the Government.
The President has asked Jack Watson, who is one of his senior aides,
to being together in the White House, all the principal Federal agencies
to make sure that the action is taken immediately. He has been doing
that. I have been working with him, in coordinating the international
and the State Department end of it.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is managing
the emergency in Florida. It seems to me that is the right way, and
exactly the way the President has determined.
Senator KENNEDY. We received your statement here just about one-
half hour before the committee started this morning. We haven't had
an opportunity, at least I haven't, to skim it; so maybe you would
summarize it, since we haven't had the benefit of basing questions on
it. I don't think it is worthwhile to take the time of the committee to
go through it entirely. It is 17 pages long.
Since we haven't had a chance to go through it and examine it,
maybe you can just summarize it and we would be able to pick up on
Mr. PALMIERI. Mr. Chairman, I will summarize the statement, sub-
mit the statement in full for the record, and in summarizing it, I will
try to be selective and responsive to the issues raised in the prior
testimony and then questions from the committee.
Let me start by saying that coming at a time when Americans are
increasingly concerned about our own economy, of jobs, housing, and
inflation, the Cuban emergency presents an extraordinary challenge
to the city of Miami, to Dade County, to the State of Florida, and to
the Government of the United States.
It tests our Nation's compassion for the oppressed and our tradition
as a haven for the persecuted, whatever their country of origin, what-
ever their race or color.
Let me summarize as quickly as I can by stating the policies of the
Government in responding to this emergency.
Senator DOLE. I read the statement. May I just inquire?
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Dole?
PAROLE OF HAITIAN REFUGEES
Senator DOLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Does the administration plan to do anything by May 15?
Mr. PALMIERI. Senator, if you will let me summarize, I will reach
Senator DOLE. Well, I have already read the statement. You didn't
reach the question in the statement. I may not be able to stay. It is
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, first of all, there is no magic to the date
May 15. That is generally misperceived. May 15 only applies to
existing paroles for "refugees."
Now refugees are a special class. Not many people in the country,
or maybe even in the Congress understand the way the new act works.
Refugees are a special class.
Senator DOLE. Does the administration understand how it works? I
think that is our question.
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, yes, sir. I think we do; but remember that this
is a new act. There are a lot of issues that are not clear.
You heard the prior witnesses, and they were not clear and they
said the act was not clear on it.
Senator KENNEDY. If the Senator would yield on it.
Senator DOLE. I yield.
USE OF PAROLE AUTHORITY
Senator KENNEDY. Thank you. They were quite clear, Mr. Palmieri,
on the issue about whether until May 15 the old law applies, section
212(d) (5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. I am familiar with
it. That does give the authority and the power to the administration
to parole in Haitians.
Now there is no reference in your statement to the Haitian problem
whatsoever. Now are you planning to use 212(d)(5) to parole them in
on May 15?
Mr. PALMIERI. We would still have the parole power after May 15,
for humanitarian reasons. I want to make that point.
Senator KENNEDY. Well, are you planning to do it before May 15?
That is when the group parole power for refugees under 212(d)(5),
under the old law, expires.
Mr. PALMIERI. Senator, every possible approach is now under re-
view, including that one.
Obviously, it will be. If this committee is as interested in that mea-
sure as your questions indicate, we will be considering that.
Senator KENNEDY. We want to know what is the administration's
position. I can tell you what mine is. I want to know what yours is.
Mr. PALMIERI. You know, Congress has made it clear, Mr. Chair-
man, that they want consultation. They made it clear in the act.
ADMINISTRATION POSITION ON USE OF PAROLE AUTHORITY
Senator KENNEDY. That is what we are trying to find out. What is
the administration's position? You have known this hearing was com-
ing for 5 days. It is no mystery. We have had the problem for many
weeks now. We have had the warnings of the Archbishop going to the
State Department over 2 years ago about it.
We had the Haitian situation being raised constantly now with the
You are before the committee. There is no reference to it in your
statement. Can you give us a straight answer? At the present time do
you plan to parole them in here or don't you?
Mr. PALMIERI. Mr. Chairman, I am giving a very straight answer.
Senator KENNEDY. Very well. Let's hear it.
Mr. PALMIERI. That straight answer is that we are considering
various ways of acting on the problem. We have no plan at this
moment, as I appear before this committee, to activate a new parole
before May 15.
We have options available after May 15. We can still have a parole
for humanitarian reasons. Congress made it plain when they passed
this act, that they wanted to eliminate a parole for mass asylum.
Senator DOLE. I don't want to get in the middle of this politics.
Senator KENNEDY. You'd never do that. You never do that.
Senator DOLE. The last thing I would do is suggest--
Mr. PALMIERI. I am happy to have you clarify the question.
Senator DOLE. I have an objective question here. I know Senator
Kennedy has too. [Laughter.]
There is a difference of opinion. I am just trying to find out as one
on the committee, a new member of the committee, what the admini-
stration plan was, if there would be a plan announced.
Maybe, as you indicate now, it is not necessary.
Mr. PALMIERI. I don't think it is necessary.
WHO IS REVIEWING PROBLEM?
Senator DOLE. You said, "We are studying this." Who does that
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, I have said that this problem is being consid-
ered at the highest levels of the Government, by people involved on
both the domestic and international side of it.
You know, Senator-
Senator DOLE. There are a lot of people like that around here.
Mr. PALMIERI. There are a lot of people considering the problem.
Senator DOLE. Specifically.
Mr. PALMIERI. All the senior White House aides are involved, all
the senior people in the State Department and the Justice Department
are considering this problem.
Senator DOLE. The President has been involved?
Mr. PALMIERI. He certainly has. He met with the Florida delega-
tion just the other day.
Senator DOLE. Have you met with the President?
Mr. PALMIERI. Yes, sir.
Senator DOLE. Recently?
Mr. PALMIERI. Yes, sir.
Senator DOLE. When?
Mr. PALMIERI. With the Florida delegation, just a few days ago.
But, Senator, let me-
OPEN ARMS FOR HAITIANS?
Senator KENNEDY. But the point is, does the open arms that the
President talked about, that we also saw on national television
the other night, does that include the Haitians or doesn't it include
Can we have that answer?
Evidently, it is open arms, with the exception of the Haitians.
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, Senator, when the President spoke about open
arms, he was talking about 20 years in which we have had a special
relationship with Cubans fleeing Castro.
You know, there is some sense here that we are creating this
problem. In fact, Castro is creating this problem. He is endangering
people. He is expelling people. What he is doing is an eloquent witness
to the failure of his own revolution.
Senator KENNEDY. That is fine. But does "open arms" mean we
accept the Cubans, and not Haitians? I just want to find that out.
Mr. PALMIERI. What it means is we treat applicants for asylum-
whether they are from Haiti or from Cuba or from anywhere else-in
exactly the same way under the new act. That is your own mandate.
You had a big hand in this Refugee Act of 1980.
Senator KENNEDY. That is right.
Mr. PALMIERI. Yes.
Senator KENNEDY. I know what the law is. It says that you can
let them in, parole them in today, after consultation with the Congress.
I know that you have the power and the authority to do that today.
Now we are back to the other question about whether you are
prepared to do it. The President made the statement of an open-arms
policy. We have had the Haitian situation here for a period of time.
We know that we can resolve it. We are just trying to find out what
the administration's position is.
Evidently, from your answers, you are not prepared to make that
RESTRICTIONS ON PAROLE AUTHORITY
Mr. PALMIERI. I am sure that the administration is happy to con-
sider the fact that you in particular, and perhaps others in Congress
have a change of mind about the use of parole. That was supposed
to be narrowly limited by the new act.
Senator KENNEDY. The fact of the matter is that while the new law
did involve a change in the parole authority, but existing law still
gives you the parole authority, up to May 15, to parole Haitians here.
We have called that to the attention of the administration. It is
quite clear that the administration intends to keep the Cubans here.
The question I am asking is whether you are going to exercise the
existing law which is on the books until May 15, the group parole
authority, to accept Haitians here.
Now if you are not, then that is fine. If you are going to continue to
consult on it, that is fine.
That is what we are trying to learn.
Mr. PALMIERI. Let me try to give you an answer that suggests how
important the question is. It would be premature to take a decision
by the May 15 date, because we would still have the power under the
humanitarian basis, given the Attorney General's discretion that
remains, to parole in the Haitians, these Cubans or others, if that is
determined to be the right way to do it.
But this is a decision that has drastic impact on our own country,
drastic impact that needs to be considered. I think it is a decision
that has to be taken calmly. I don't think with all the emotions that
are running riot here, that this is the time, on what is after all, a
phony date, to be driven into a decision, when we don't know the
magnitude and duration of this flow. We are not in a position to
determine the impact on this country. We have not received the full
international response arrayed yet, and Castro is seeking to create as
many problems as he can, as fast as he can.
I think to approach this emotionally would not help.
HAITIANS ARE NOT A NEW PROBLEM
Senator KENNEDY. I will include in the record the letter that I sent
to the Attorney General on November 13 about the Haitians.
To try to suggest to this committee that this is something just
brandnew and that the administration does not want to be stampeded
under the emotions of the time is not an accurate portrayal of this
committee's interest in this particular problem.
I will put in the record my letter of November 13 and the response
from the Justice Department, where Mr. Shenefield himself points
out that "we are mindful that(the Haitian situation has strained the
asylum procedures and concept, perhaps beyond rational limits." So
he recognizes the problem.rn
I will just include those in the official record.
63-998 0 80 3
[Senator Kennedy's letter and Attorney General Shenefield's
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
Washington, D.C., November 13, 1979.
Hon. BENJAMIN R. CIVrLETTr,
Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice,
DEAR MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL: As you know, the immigration status of many
Haitians in Florida and elsewhere have been a source of deep concern for many
months to the voluntary agencies and State and local community groups involved
in their cases. I am writing to urge you, in light of recent developments, to seriously
consider exercising your authority under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and
Nationality Act to deal, on a case-by-case basis, with individual Haitians who
have developed equity or who have established a record of humanitarian concern
justifying their being granted an adjustment of status.
I fully realize that many of these cases are currently involved in litigation and
generally this process must continue according to applicable law. However, I am
also aware that many cases can be dealt with separately, on humanitarian grounds.
Frankly, I had hoped that the relevant provisions of S. 643-The Refugee Act
of 1979-especially the new asylum provisions, would be applied to the Haitian
cases. However, this bill has yet to clear the House and, despite my appeals, some
weeks ago regulations were promulgated by the Immigration and Naturalization
Service toward Haitians that were, in my view, contrary to the spirit and intent
of the new law.
Therefore, pending enactment of the now legislation-and recognizing the
unusual and humanitarian circumstances surrounding many of the current Haitian
immigration cases-I would urge you to consider exercising your parole authority,
on an individual basis, to deal fairly and humanely in resolving many of these
Again, I recognize the complexity of this issue, as well as the uncertainty still
surrounding the pending refugee legislation. However, I wanted you to know that
I would support any action by you to help Haitians who have developed some
claim upon the attention and concern of the U.S. Government.
Many thanks for your consideration, and best wishes.
EDWARD M. KENNEDY,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
OFFICE OF THE ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY GENERAL,
Washington, D.C., February 27, 1980.
Hon. EDWARD M. KENNEDY,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The Attorney General has asked that I respond to your
letter of November 13, 1979, concerning the immigration status of Haitians in
In considering requests for asylum, the Government applies the standards set
forth in the United Nations Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of
Refugees. When a request for asylum is received from an alien in the United States,
r he Immigration and Naturalization Service, under current law, has sole authority
to grant or deny the request. However, in order to obtain expert information re-
garding political conditions in other countries, the request for asylum is forwarded
to the Department of State for its guidance prior to reaching a final decision.
Through this procedure, a small number of Haitians (58) have been granted
asylum in the United States. The vast majority, however, have not been found to
have valid claims for asylum. Each claim is reviewed individually.
As you know, the Government is currently in litigation with Haitian asylum
applicants, regarding regulations and procedures for adjudicating their claims. We
do not anticipate changes such as you propose while that litigation is pending. As
a legal matter, we believe that the Attorney General lacks the authority to parole
aliens who have already entered the United States. Moreover, no alien who has
made an asylum claim will be returned to Haiti until he has had a full opportunity
to present his claim and have it adjudicated. Judicial review is also, of course,
available for those whose asylum claims have been administratively denied.
At the same time, we are mindful that the Haitian situation has strained the
asylum procedure and concept, perhaps beyond rational limits. Alternative poli-
cies are receiving consideration and we appreciate your suggestion on how the
matter might be more effectively handled.
JOHN H. SHENEFIELD,
Acting Associate Attorney General.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Metzenbaum?
DIFFERENT TREATMENT FOR CUBANS AND HAITIANS
Senator METZENBAUM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Palmieri, the thing that concerns me, which I first mentioned
in my opening statement, is the different treatment given to two
groups of people. I have difficulty in making a distinction between
the Haitians and the Cubans.
Now you talk about emotionalism and stampede. The fact is that
there is the May 15 date that you have known about. It is not a new
My question is, is any action going to be taken before May 15
with respect to the Haitians?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, Senator, I have tried to answer that question.
We are trying to assess all the impact of this situation, including on
the Haitian situation.
You know, the Refugee Act is an expression of congressional will
that all applicants for asylum be treated equitably on a case-by-case
It is an expression of congressional will that parole not be used to
solve difficult issues in an easy way, under the heat of an emotional
This administration feels the greatest concern for the plight of the
Haitians. We have tried to come to grips in the past few weeks and
months, since the passage of the act, to equalize the treatment that
was different in the past. We have 20 years of concern for the victims
of Castro's repression, and that has affected the way in which we
deal with Cubans who are escaping to this country, as opposed to
I have tried to say that what we are seeking is an approach that
treats people equally on the same test. That test is-
Senator METZENBAUM. Yes, I understand that.
Mr. PALMIERI. Yes.
PAROLE AUTHORITY BEFORE MAY 15
Senator METZENBAUM. Concerning this question of assessing the
impact, I would prefer sometimes that Congress create a committee
to study the problem.
The fact is that the buck stops there. It stops on May 15. Now will
you have made your assessment prior to that time and will there be
a clear and definite position taken as to whether or not parole pro-
cedures as provided under the present law, which changes on May 15,
will or will not be implemented, or will you still be continuing to
assess the problem which is not a new one, and which I might say
affects a much lesser number of people-what is it, 13,000 or 20,000-
I think the real question is: Will you give an unequivocal answer
as to how the matter will be handled before the 15th, or will you be
continuing to assess?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, Senator, I am surprised to know that there
is something wrong with assessment.
Senator METZENBAUM. I didn't say that. I implied there is some-
thing wrong with delaying it past the cutoff date. I think you have
had time to assess it for a long time.
So, I think there is something wrong with not being realistic about
the cutoff date. There is nothing wrong with your assessing it, which
is not a new procedure on your part.
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, let me point out, Senator, that no magic is
worked by insisting on a May 15 date.
In the first place, we have a parole for humanitarian reasons avail-
able after. Second, there is no magical landing net under the Refugee
Act for a vast new group of people to be brought in. Special legisla-
tion or funding would still be necessary.
So that in this present climate, when the Haitian people who are
here and the whole black community are feeling that this is racist
discrimination, it seems to me that we need the help and the support
of this committee to point out that these problems really are complex;
that there is a context of 20 years of different treatment, based on the
fact that this Congress always responded differently to the victims of
Communist persecution than it did to people of other lands.
That was wiped out in the new act. It was a great step forward, a
We are trying now to implement that. We are trying to bring this
together. And, sir, with all respect, we are not going to be stampeded
into a May 15 parole when we have other options available, in a
careful and prudent process.
Senator METZENDAU-M. Mr. Palmieri, let me ask-
Senator KENNEDY. If the Senator would yield.
Senator METZENBAUM. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
GROUP VERSUS INDIVIDUAL PAROLE
Senator KENNEDY. It is very important for the record to make
clear that the parole authority is restricted after May 15 to individual
parole, for nonrefugees.
I am sure Mr. Palmieri does not intend to leave the record in such
a way to suggest we have the group parole authority equally after
Now you can use it for a class of individuals. After that it is going
to have to be done individually, one by one, or small groups, and
judgments made on the basis of each case.
Judge RENFREW. Mr. Chairman, could I add just a little something
from a law enforcement perspective with respect to the parole expira-
tion on May 15?
Senator KENNEDY. Yes.
CONGRESSIONAL RESTRICTIONS ON PAROLE
Judge RENFREW. I hope this will help Senator Metzenbaum.
As Senator Kennedy correctly pointed out, the parole that is avail-
able, if the Attorney General exercises it prior to May 15, is a general
parole. The humanitarian parole, after that date, is an individual
parole which requires an examination, on a case-by-case basis\
The change in the nature of the parole reflects a deliberate decision
on the part of the Congress to examine these on an individual basis,
in the future, post-May 15. Also, it took recognition that this country
perhaps gave too much emphasis to people fleeing Communist coun-
tries and not enough to people fleeing totalitarian countries of other
types. We have given a great deal of weight to Congress stated inten-
tion in that respect.
SCREENING OF REFUGEES
But, from a law enforcement perspective, since in the general
situation where we have refugees coming to this country they generally
are screened abroad, we have an opportunity to evaluate the persons,
their background, if they have criminal records, and the like.
In this particular situation, both the Haitians and the Cubans come
here without any opportunity, to have them screened at their country.
We know, for example, that a number of Cubans that have come
over, at least have allegedly been persons with significant criminal
records, persons whose status here-even with a Refugee Act-would
be questionable, because the Refugee Act would not permit criminals
to come in and obtain refugee status.
It seems to me since we know there are people like that coming here
at this time, it makes sense for us to follow the parole on a case-by-case
basis, because if we would just-
Senator METZENBAUM. That is Cubans you are talking about.
Judge RENFREW. Well, we don't know the Haitians. Since we do
know that there are some Cubans that are leaving because they are
criminals-we have no idea with respect to the Haitians-we think an
orderly way to do it would be on a case-by-case basis in order that we
not give refugee status to someone to whom it is not entitled.
DISCRIMINATING TREATMENT OF HAITIANS
Senator METZENBAUM. I am not certain that I am prepared to
challenge that position. I am prepared to challenge discriminatory
practices between one group of refugees from a country, and another
group of refugees from a different country.
Mr. Palmieri says that there are racist overtones. Well, Mr.
Palmieri, I didn't create that situation. It seems to me that is the
administration's doing because you have handled Cubans differently
than you are handling the Haitians.
Mr. PALMIERI. But you know, that was mandated by the provisions
of the old law. We now have new law and new policy based on that
law. You understand that, I am sure, Senator Metzenbaum. Under
the old law the different treatment was mandated.
The Haitians were here as illegal arrivals. The Cubans were here
under an authorized refugee program. The Cubans were fully funded
by the Congress-and by their own community-mostly, I should say,
by their own community. The Haitians were not funded at all.
Still, as you know, applicants for asylum, under the law, do not get
full benefits. So they are both in the same category now.
Senator METZENBAUM. Have the Haitians not claimed political
Mr. PALMIERI. The Haitians are now in the process of claiming
political asylum and have been for the past year or so.
But political asylum application status does not entitle persons to
benefits under congressional enactment.
Senator METZENBAUM. Are you suggesting that the whole problem
revolves around the question of whether or not there is the funding, or
is it a question of whether or not the Department is prepared to make
a distinction between these two groups of people?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, I just don't see how you could ignore funding.
That is very important.
Senator METZENBAUM. Has the administration asked for funding
for the Haitians?
Mr. PALMIERI. Let me tell you what we have done. To ask for
funding for the Haitians, under the existing laws which do not make
funding available for people who arrive in the country illegally, we now
have both Cubans and Haitians arriving here as undocumented aliens,
essentially in the same status under the new act.
So what we have done-and we did this, I think as fast as it could
be done-was to make a drawdown from the Refugee Emergency
Fund to provide immediate relief and resettlement assistance.
We are trying to find ways of bringing that to bear for Haitians, as
well as Cubans. I want to assure you of that, Senator. I feel that need
Senator METZENBAUM. I think there is a general feeling that there
is a different kind of treatment, and I think there are racial overtones.
But I don't think the Haitians created it. I don't think the Cubans
created it. I think that the reason for this concern that you expressed
and raised as an issue was created by reason of the administration's
different treatment of the two groups.
Although you say that it is because of Congress mandate or lack of
funding or whatever else it may be, the reality of the situation is that
the two groups are being treated differently.
CUBANS AND HAITIANS BEING TREATED SIMILARLY
Judge RENFREW. Senator Metzenbaum, if I may, and apparently
there is a misperception here. I did not understand Ambassador
Palmieri to say that there is currently different treatment. There is no
difference in the treatment afforded a Haitian or a Cuban arriving
here in this country at this time. There simply is not.
Mr. PALMIERI. That is precisely the problem.
Judge RENFREW. With the single exception.
Senator KENNEDY. Do you really think you can convince anyone
of that in Florida or any in the Haitian community or the black
community? You are a better lawyer than I think you are. [Laughter.]
Judge RENFREW. Well, you have to give me a chance before the-
that simply is the fact.
Senator KENNEDY. How many deportation proceedings do you have
against Cubans and how many do you have against Haitians?
Judge RENFREW. Well, technically, these are not deportation
proceedings, these are exclusion proceedings.
Senator METZENBAUM. Exclusion? [Laughter.]
Senator KENNEDY. Exclusions. [Laughter.]
Judge RENFREW. It has some difference in the law with respect to
Senator KENNEDY. All right. How many exclusions do you have
for Haitians and how many do you have for Cubans?
Judge RENFREW. The difference is that the Haitians have been.
coming for a period of time.
Senator KENNEDY. Just give me the numbers.
Judge RENFREW. I don't have the numbers available, but we have
not completed the processing of any of the recent arrivals of the
Cuban immigration. As you know, this has started since April 21.
We are talking about a problem that is of 3 weeks' duration.
Senator KENNEDY. Do you know how many Cubans have been ex-
pelled and how many Haitians have been expelled?
Judge RENFREW. Senator, that is not a fair comparison. The reason
is that the processing of the Cubans has not been completed. The
Cubans first came here on April 21 of this year. Prior to that time
there were none permitted to come in by the Cuban Government.
The Haitians have been coming over steadily for a period of time. I
expect there very well may be some explosion proceedings after the
processing has been completed. But we haven't finished processing a
So, the comparison cannot be made at this time.
ATTEMPTING TO TREAT EVERYONE EQUALLY
Mr. PALMIERI. I think it is not in the best interests of our Nation
at a time when there is as much emotion coming up in the country
about this sudden influx to suggest that this administration is dealing
with this problem in anything other than an equal handed way,
following the mandate of the act.
That is precisely what we are doing. Both groups are in a situation
which is exactly the same. They are treated as applicants for asylum.
About 200 Haitians a day are now applying for asylum, along with
We are doing everything we can, Senator, to bring these groups into
the same way of treatment.
Senator METZENBAUM. Mr. Palmieri, I don't think it is Congress
that has raised the issue of different treatment, I think it is the Ameri-
can people through editorial writers, through columnists, through
people themselves who have raised the issue. The American people
are not stupid.
I have here a long list of supporters of asylum for Haitian refugees-
the American Jewish Committee, Congressional Black Caucus,
National Council of Churches, the U.S. Catholic Conference, Shirley
Chisholm, Dick Stone, Pat Moynihan, Bill Lehman, a whole long list
of Members of the Congress, all sorts of other groups.
I don't think you can suggest that it was Congress that raised the
issue. I think it was the administration that created the issue. The
American people raised the issue, then recognized what occurred and
started commenting on it. I think that is the reason some of us here
have talked about discriminatory practices.
Senator DOLE. Will the Senator yield?
Senator METZENBAUM. Yes.
NEED TO CHANGE THE LAW
Senator DOLE. I guess the obvious question then is, Congress can
change the law, if we feel as strongly about it as Senator Metzenbaum
indicated. The law can be changed; is that correct?
Mr. PALMIERI. Senator, if the law has been changed and we now
treat them the same.
Senator DOLE. We can change it again if there is some indication.
My question to you is, I may agree with you, I just don't want to
get into all the other-whatever is going on-I can't remember which
primary is coming up. [Laughter.]
In any event--
Senator KENNEDY. You used to know. [Laughter.]
Senator DOLE. I know, but nobody else did. That was my problem.
You are saying to this committee then that if nothing is done, put
it that way, by May 15, it is because it is not necessary. That you
still consider Haitians or Cubans or whatever on a case-by-case basis,
after May 15; that there has been no discriminatory treatment of one
group as compared to the other, from one individual as compared to
Is that in essence what you are suggesting?
MAY 15 IS NOT A CRUCIAL DATE
Mr. PALMIERI. I am saying there is no magic in the May 15 date.
/If we exercise May 15, we would still have to come to the Congress
(for special funding. We still have that problem ahead of us.
This is not the time to be rushed into a determination.
I might also add that we are trying to do very hard many of the
things which the chairman has pointed out, which these prior witnesses
have pointed out are absolutely essential.
First, to internationalize the problem. We have just participated
in the Costa Rican Conference, to do exactly that. I think that was a
pretty quick response.
Second, to make this orderly and a managed flow. We are doing
that. We are working to get an orderly and a managed flow out of this.
I think the response of everybody who has been involved in that
management deserves commendation, the county, the State, and I
think the Federal Government has come to bear on it well and as fast
as could possibly be done.
But, Senator, to answer the chairman's question again, we have no
present plan to exercise a new parole before May 15. But we are willing
to do what we think is right, after consulting with this Congress. We
are ready to do that when it is clear what the order of magnitude of
this flow is and what the impact on the country is.
I think to move before that is irresponsible. We have many groups
in this country. We have important issues of human rights involved
here. We are addressing those questions.
Senator THURMOND. I would like to ask you a question here.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Thurmond.
ROLE OF U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES
Senator THURMOND. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Have you contacted the U.N. High Commissioner, and if so, what
has been the results of that contact?
Mr. PALMIERI. Senator, we have a full set of contacts with the U.N.
High Commissioner for Refugees arising, first of all, out of the situa-
tion in the Peruvian Embassy, where the High Commissioner's staff
was brought in immediately into Costa Rica.
Our refugee program team arrived in Costa Rica before the
UNHCR, was mstrumental in bringing the UNHCR into that
We have since applied to the UNHCR to become involved in
reviewing the files of Cubans, just as it has been doing in reviewing
the files of Haitian applicants for asylum.
I might add that again, in relation to the chairman's opening com-
ments, that the communique from the Costa Rica Conference indi-
cates that UNHCR will play a major coordinating role with respect
to the flow, with respect to managing it, with respect to the negotia-
tions for making it a humane, orderly, and safe flow.
I think that we regard the importance of internationalizing and
bringing in a U.N. international agency like the U.N. High Com-
missioner every bit as important as the earlier witnesses and the
chairman and you have indicated.
Senator THURMOND. A great many people feel that the administra-
tion hasn't planned as well as it should and has not acted as expedi-
tiously as it should; it has not been as aggressive as it should in pur-
suing policies in this matter.
I will have to say that I agree with you though, about this case by
case, because when this Immigration Act was passed this year-which
was signed March 17, 1980-subsection H, section 243, of the 1950
act was amended.
It was amended this way:
The Attorney General shall not deport or return any agent to a country if
the Attorney General determines that such alien's life or freedom would be
threatened in such country, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership
in a particular social group or political union.
Then, it goes further and says, and that was paragraph 1:
Paragraph 1 shall not apply to any agent, if the Attorney General determines
that the alien ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise participated in the persecution
of any person on account or race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular
social group or political opinion.
B. The alien having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious
crime constitutes a danger to the community of the United States;
C. There are serious reasons for considering that the alien has committed a
serious nonpolitical crime outside the United States prior to the arrival of the
alien in the United States; or
D. There are reasonable grounds for regarding the alien as a danger to the
security of the United States.
Now, I can understand under this law which you have to follow,
that you do have to make a case-by-case examination. I believe that
is your position on that.
Judge RENFREW. Yes, sir.
Senator THURMOND. So although I have felt that you have not
moved as rapidly as you should, that you have not been as aggressive
as you should in handling this Cuban problem, I do affirm your posi-
tion here under the law, that you do have to examine these case by
Judge RENFREW. Incidentally, Mr. Chairman, in reviewing the
report from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, we are pres-
ently detaining some 385 Cubans for possible expulsion.
Senator KENNEDY. About 1 percent, as I understand.
Judge RENFREW. It is approximately 1 percent. We have not com-
pleted that processing yet.
PAROLE REQUIRES CASE-BY-CASE REVIEW
Senator KENNEDY. The fact remains that even under the old parole
authority, there was a case-by-case review.
Isn't that a fact, when we paroled in the Indochinese? They still
were examined case by case. Of course, we are going to sift out those
that pose some kind of a threat to our society.
Judge RENFREW. Sift them through before we release them to
society, Senator. That is what we feel we should do.
Senator KENNEDY. Nonetheless, the idea that if you use parole, that
somehow you suggest you let them out into society, is not the fact
under the existing or old law.
Let me ask you this, Mr. Palmieri. Given the fact that you are using
the 60-day temporary parole for the Cubans at the present time, and
that you indicated that after May 15 you will still have the ability to
parole them in-the Haitians on an individual basis-are you pre-
pared to make a budget request for increased numbers of personnel-
and how many millions of dollars increase are we going to have for the
Immigration Service to process these?
Mr. PALMIERI. I think that is exactly the kind of problem we are
working on. All these matters have to be assessed.
Senator KENNEDY. What is your best estimate now? You must have
given that some thought now and what the time is going to be. How
many millions of dollars is that going to cost the taxpayer?
Mr. PALMIERI. Mr. Chairman, we have all our people involved in
the INS right now, focusing on the emergency. We have pulled in
600 or more Federal employees, Customs and INS, into Florida.
I will tell you very quickly that we have not yet got the assessment
that I think you are suggesting, and that is required: exactly what the
impact on INS processing would be.
It may be that there is simply too much involved in the workload
to make it practical. And there therefore would have to be a special
way of dealing with these numbers. We are dealing with some harsh
realities here. We can't keep the INS staffed up for a sudden mass
influx of undocumented people on a perpetual basis.
We have to now look at this as a special problem.
Senator KENNEDY. Let us continue with your testimony.
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. It will not take
RESULTS OF COSTA RICA MEETING
Senator KENNEDY. Could you give us the results of the Costa Rica
Conference and the efforts of the administration to internationalize
this problem, and how many additional commitments did you get for
accepting Cubans into other countries?
Mr. PALMIERI. We essentially got a reaffirmation of the commit-
ment made with respect to Peruvian Embassy-
Senator KENNEDY. Got what?
Mr. PALMIERI. The countries who made commitments to take
refugees out of the Peruvian Embassy for resettlement reaffirmed
those commitments to us here. Essentially that amounted to about
Senator KENNEDY. They just reaffirmed their commitments. You
did not get any increase at all?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, I don't think anybody came to that conference
with the thought that that was the No. 1 order of business. Resettle-
ment and resettlement commitments were on the agenda. But the
No. 1 order of business was to get a delegation to go to Cuba to deal
with Castro toward the end of a humane, orderly, safe flow of people-
a system of departures like the one we had in 1965 to 1973.
Thereafter, Mr. Chairman, the goal was to deal with the issues of
resettlement. So, I don't find it surprising. In fact, I find it encouraging
that they were willing to reaffirm those 3,200 commitments in the
DID UNITED STATES SEEK COMMITMENTS TO RESETTLE CUBANS
Senator KENNEDY. Did you ask in Costa Rica for additional
Mr. PALMIERI. No. It was simply agendaed as to-
Senator KENNEDY. It was what?
Mr. PALMIERI. The issue of resettlement commitment was on the
Senator KENNEDY. Right.
Mr. PALMIERI. It was discussed. It was made clear that--
Senator KENNEDY. Did the United States ask for any?
Mr. PALMIERI. We asked them to consider it, yes.
Senator KENNEDY. What did you ask them to consider?
Mr. PALMIERI. We didn't try to close on that at that point, sir.
Senator KENNEDY. What does all that mean, you didn't ask them
to "close on" it? Did you ask them to take additional numbers?
Mr. PALMIERI. Those envoys did not come with instructions from
their governments to make commitments on resettlement. They
came to hear the position of President Carazo who, after all, called
the conference in Costa Rica. He asked them to consider the issue
of resettlement commitment. It was plain they were prepared to
reaffirm the ones made in respect to the Peruvian Embassy.
It was not our conference. We made plain that we would welcome
their resettlement commitments, and we looked forward to their
Another important feature is that the new countries who were there,
who were not part of the earlier consultations on the Peruvian Em-
bassy, did say that they were willing to consider taking resettlement,
making resettlement commitments. That included Argentina, Aus-
tralia, Italy, the United Kingdom, for instance.
I think there are some encouraging answers to your question.
Senator KENNEDY. Well, apparently you do. But I would just like
to find out whether you asked specifically for other countries to take
any additional numbers at the conference?
Mr. PALMIERI. No, sir.
Senator KENNEDY. You did not.
Mr. PALMIERI. Not specific. It is premature for that.
Senator KENNEDY. Why not?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, because we were trying to focus on getting an
orderly and safe flow of people, a system of departure from Cuba.
The question of resettlements is a very important question. I think
to rush into that one is a mistake.
Senator METZENBAUM. I do not understand what you just said.
Senator KENNEDY. I didn't either.
Senator METZENBAUM. To rush into pressing our international
neighbors and friends to take some action in this respect is a mistake?
Now, I am incredulous. I don't quite comprehend. The Cuban
refugees are pouring out of Cuba. We in this country don't know what
to do with them. We do think there is an international responsibility
to share the problem. And you are saying that you think to rush into
it is a mistake?
When should we do it? About a year or two from now?
Mr. PALMIERI. We were very quick to put resettlement on the
agenda. I think you understand that it would not be sensible to try to
get envoys to a conference designed to hear about the problem,
designed to come to one essential commitment, that is, the delegation
to go to Castro and try to solve this problem at its source.
We were not in a position to ask those people to make large commit-
ments to resettlement at that point. It was discussed. We got indica-
tions that they would consider it. That is a very delicate matter. If
those envoys were to go back having made commitments, they might
blow our chances of ever getting extensive resettlement commitments.
That is going to take a lot of diplomatic activity. We are not going to
rush into that.
Senator METZENBAUM. No; but they certainly could have been
importuned to go back to their countries and come back with prompt
responses as to how many they would take.
Mr. PALMIERI. Let me assure you; there was a lot of importuning
that went on.
Senator METZENBAUM. When do you expect to get some response
to that importuning?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, we are in day-by-day consultation with these
countries now. I would hope we would get responses soon. But first
of all, we have to solve the problem at its source. We are asking them
to focus on the delegation, which we hope will be going to Havana.
I understand that the Cuban news agency has said they won't
accept the delegation.
COMPOSITION OF COSTA RICAN DELEGATION
Senator METZENBAUM. Does the delegation consist of United
States, Great Britain, and Costa Rica?
Mr. PALMIERI. That is my understanding.
Senator METZENBAUM. No countries that have a closer working
relationship with the Cubans than those three nations, no South
American nations, no Central American countries except Costa Rica?
Mr. PALMIERI. My understanding is those are the countries that
will be on the delegation.
Senator METZENBAUM. Mr. Palmieri, you are more familiar with
these matters than I, but is it not a fact that such a delegation almost
starts off on the negative in not really having the greatest working
relations with Cuba?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, it is difficult to get countries that have good
working relationships with Cuba.
No. 1, because there aren't that many, particularly after the
Peruvian Embassy problem. You know, Castro has ruined his relations
with Peru, with-
Senator KENNEDY. Not with Mexico.
Mr. PALMIERI. And with Costa Rica.
He has important disputes with them. He has had heavy, heavy
costs in this. It is not too easy to find nations that have good working
relationships after these past few weeks.
ROLE OF MEXICO
Senator KENNEDY. What about Mexico?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, Mexico has stayed away from the conference.
That is true.
Senator KENNEDY. Did you ask them to help?
Mr. PALMIERI. You know, President Carazo called this conference.
There are aspects to it that I can't respond to, and that is one of them.
Senator KENNEDY. Well, I am just asking whether we asked the
President whether it included Mexico or not. They have good relation-
ships with Cuba, as I understand it from my recent trip.
Tell me, do you know whether they did or not?
Mr. PALMIERI. I really do not know.
LAW BEING USED TO ADMIT CUBANS
Senator KENNEDY. I just have one final question. In the President's
statement, on May 5, he said: "We, as a nation, have always had our
arms open to receiving refugees in accordance with American law."
Which law are we using now?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, all our laws emphasize the need for our pre-
screening and processing. They are designed for that processing, in the
case of refugees, essentially to be abroad. For asylum cases, that come
here on an individual basis and then are processed in this country.
Senator KENNEDY. Which law are we using now?
Mr. PALMIERI. We are trying to do precisely what it was I thought
you indicated in the beginning we should be doing, and that is to say
getting Castro, who after all is the cause of the problem, to agree to an
orderly system of departures where we could process in Havana as
we did before.
Senator KENNEDY. Now you have the 30,000-odd here, which au-
thority of law are we using to admit them?
Mr. PALMIERI. We are in the process of attempting to see how best
to approach that question. We are using at this point the asylum law.
That is to say these people are being processed on a case-by-case basis,
as applicants for asylum.
You heard the archbishop and the monsignor say i their judgment,
as well as everyone else who has looked at the act, that the act was
not contemplated for a group, a mass, sudden arriva of applicants for
asylum on our shores. That just happens to be a very special emer-
Senator KENNEDY. Well, you were willing to consult with the com-
mittee on 3,500 Cubans, and you thought that the Refugee Act applied
Presently, do you believe the Refugee Act applies to the others?
Mr. PALMIERI. With respect to its provisions dealing with asylum.
Obviously, it covers asylum. These people are applicants for asylum.
I think we have to distinguish carefully between the way the act
uses the word "refugee," and the way it uses "applicants for asylum."
Senator KENNEDY. Well, I am talking about section 207, the au-
thority to consult with the Congress on an emergency basis.
Mr. PALMIERI. Right.
Senator KENNEDY. You used section 207 on the first 3,500. Now why
aren't you using section 207 on the rest?
Mr. PALMIERI. The 207 process was invoked for a situation in
which we had a group in the Peruvian Embassy who were flown to
Costa Rica as a staging area and then would be brought here under
exactly the provisions of the act that were contemplated.
We did not contemplate a sudden mass arrival of people who rush
into our country. I think we have to be very careful about jumping
into the determination that anybody who boards a boat in a great mass
of people, comes ashore in our country, is classified as a refugee. That
may be exactly where you and the rest of the Congress and this
administration come out, but it is a decision that is going to be made
Senator KENNEDY. Well, what are they classified?
Mr. PALMIERI. They are applicants for asylum, Senator.
Senator KENNEDY. And you are treating them individually, then?
Mr. PALMIERI. At this point we are treating them individually.
FEDERAL ASSISTANCE LACKING
Senator KENNEDY. Then the word ought to go on out then, and I
hope our good griends from Florida and the other communities, that as
asylum, none of the communities in which they will be settled will get
the Federal help and assistance?
Mr. PALMIERI. Let me assure you that word is out.
Senator KENNEDY. Well, that is what I think is a fundamental,
basic failure of the administration's policy, and it is going to bring
enormous tensions, misunderstandings, in many of these communities.
Mr. PALMIERI. I'd be-
Senator KENNEDY. If you would just let me continue.
Mr. PALMIERI. I would be glad to.
Senator KENNEDY. I believe, and evidently officials at HEW
believe, that the Refugee Act applies to the Cubans. But by allowing
Cubans to enter and go out without any Federal help, whether it is
in Florida or elsewhere, will burden many communities. They are not
going to be eligible for the range of different services that are available
were Cubans admitted under the Refugee Act.
In other words, you are just saying that we have all the Cubans
whom the President has opened his arms to, that they will come to
the United States-and the local communities are on their own.
Mr. PALMIERI. We have said to these communities that they are
not on their own, that this Government, this administration, and this
Congress together are going to see that their problem is solved for
We ought not inspire hysteria about any of the aspects of this
problem. There is enough emotion, there is enough blame being laid
I think we have a tough problem to solve. We are doing our best to
REFUGEE ACT SHOULD BE USED
Senator KENNEDY. Well, I will just end with this. It is my strong
belief and understanding that the administration could, if it wanted
to, classify the Cuban refugees under section 207 of the Refugee Act,
which you initially used. You might find there is a distinction between
Cubans at the Peruvian Embassy, and those who have suddenly
flooded here since then.
Maybe that is an important distinction to you. I don't think it is
for most Americans. They don't understand that distinction; the
Cubans are being admitted either way.
It seems to me that section 207 applies. The administration ought
to move to use it-to use the range of benefits for community support,
so that local communities will be given some assurance now, and not
under some future action that may or may not be taken by the Con-
gress or by the administration, that they will receive some help.
Mr. PALMIERI. Senator, doesn't that give other groups the invita-
tion to rush our shores if you take exactly that position?
It seems clear to us that the act did not contemplate that for a very
good reason. It discriminates between refugees processed abroad and
people who come here as individuals, escape to our shores and seek
asylum. To denominate as refugees people who come here in a sudden,
mass, uncontrolled influx is a very dangerous thing to do.
Now we have to deal with the problem of the community. We have
to deal with the human rights issues. But, I urge this committee to be
careful about extending an invitation to people to rush to our shores
under the provisions of the Refugee Act.
We are taking 232,000 refugees from all over the world this year.
We will spend $1.7 billion on all those programs. We are going to
approach this problem humanely, carefully, prudently; and we cannot
be rushed into it.
Senator KENNEDY. This is a unique set of circumstances.
Mr. PALMIERI. That is correct.
Senator KENNEDY. To just sluff it off and indicate that if we do this
and respond to the humanitarian needs of the Cubans now, and also
the Haitians, that we are creating general precedents, seems to me to
ignore the unique set of circumstances. We have responded historically
to Cubans. There is nothing new. We could have used your same logic
at the time of the Hungarians. Say, "Look. We are taking the Hun-
garians, the freedom fighters. That is going to be an invitation for
people to come pouring into the United States," or indeed, other special
We have responded in a humane and compassionate way. There is
both the authority, and I believe the law in existence which would
permit the administration to do so under this set of circumstances,
and that is something I personally believe in.
Senator DOLE. I have no further questions.
Mr. PALMIERI. Thank you.
Senator KENNEDY. Senator Chiles.
Senator CHILES. Mr. Chairman, I thank you. I did have a couple of
questions I wanted to ask.
Senator KENNEDY. Would you just yield for 1 second?
Senator CHILES. Yes.
Senator KENNEDY. I just want to acknowledge the presence of
Congressman Walter Fauntroy here. I am not going to be able to be
here for all of his presentation.
We want to welcome the Congressman here. I want to give the
assurance to the Congressman and the other delegates here, I will
review very carefully the comments that are made. He is very welcome
to this committee.
BROADEN RESULTS OF COSTA RICA CONFERENCE
Senator CHILES. Mr. Ambassador, my understanding is, from the
San Jose meeting, we are going to have representatives from the
United States and Great Britain and Costa Rica seek to meet with
the Cuban Government to seek some regularization of this process.
Why in the world aren't there other representatives from other
Latin American countries in that delegation? Why just Great Britain
and the United States and only Costa Rica?
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, I think the situation for Latin countries is a
difficult one. It is not easy for them to intervene in what appears to
many of them to be essentially a bilateral set of issues between Cuba
and the United States.
Yet, President Carazo called for a conference, and the 21 countries
that came recognized that it is an international problem, that it does
create hemispheric tension; that unless it is resolved, other countries
will share this problem. So, I think the fact we were able, on short
notice, to see over 20 countries convene-with observers from seven
international organizations, the Holy See represented-indicates a level
of concern that Castro has to take account of.
On the other hand, Senator, to ask those individual countries to
become members of the delegation, to go to Havana, is asking them
to take risks in terms of their domestic situation, in terms of criticism
from their own leftist press, which they are slow to want to take,
and which is not necessary for us to subject them to.
I think their coming together in an international forum, on short
notice, to express the concern, to recognize it as an international
problem, to seek to have this put into a different status as an orderly,
managed, safe flow, and to endorse a delegation going to Havana was
a big step.
I think it was a big step for President Carazo to take. I think it was
a big step for all those countries to consent to participation.
Senator, I would not look at it on how little was done. I would say,
in fact, there was a great deal accomplished, even if that delegation is
not met by the Castro authorities, which it may not be.
INTERNATIONALIZE THE PROBLEM
Senator CHILES. Well, that is exactly my fear, that it well may not
be especially looking at the makeup of that delegation.
It seems like to me, if we had more Latin and Central American
countries on there, there would certainly be a much better chance of
success of being met by the Castro delegation. Right now, what we are
talking about is how can we regulatize the flow of the refugees coming
into the United States. We don't seem to think there is any way to do
that. Unless we are willing to take the steps to stop the boats, then
there is no way, other than having some kind of a consent from Castro.
It seems that the only way we are going to get that, of course, is to
get his attention. The only way I think we are going to get that is to
escalate this into an international problem, and certainly a hemispheric
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, you are exactly right. We have taken the first
step toward that goal. It is only a first step. I think you are right,
Senator. It is not sufficient in itself. We are going to activate every
possible diplomatic channel. We are going to bring every effort to bear
to make it clear that this is an international problem.
I think that is not lost on these countries. They have given attention.
MEETING OF THE OAS
Senator CHILES. Have we asked for a meeting of the OAS on this
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, sir, we do not feel that the OAS is necessarily
the logical place to go with this. There are other forums which may be
more appropriate. This special forum, I think, really did more to focus
what the chairman agreed was an exceptional situation.
I think that the special forum offers better possibilities than the
OAS. This is not an easy setting in which to work.
Senator, you know as much or more about this area of the world,
than anybody. You know that it is a delicate and difficult diplomatic
Senator CHILES. Well, I know, Mr. Ambassador, in this kind of a
situation, if you are waiting for volunteers, you are going to be waiting
for a long, long time. I don't think we are going to find a lot of vol-
unteers, given the fact that you just said, the problems some of our
Latin American neighbors have in their own government.
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, Senator, there is a problem in Havana that
that does not respond necessarily to logic. Castro is doing everything
he can to manipulate other Latin nations. He has been willing to
disrupt his relationships with some of the most important countries
in Latin America.
I think you have to see this, Senator, and I am sure that you do,
in the context of a revolution that is failing; in the context of a dic-
tator who is in a frenzy. He is doing things which are obviously an
eloquent testimony to that failure.
63-998 0 80 4
URGENT ACTION NEEDED
Senator CHILES. Mr. Ambassador, I agree with that and I think
you do; but I think what we are failing in this is, we are failing to
bring that into the world court of public opinion, because we are not
in the United Nations today, and because we are not in the OAS and
because we are not seeking in every one of these Latin American
countries to have them agree to take some of the refugees, to have
them agree that they will be opening the dialog with Castro in those
steps where I am concerned about it.
Now it would be nice if we could sit back and take forever to allow
this to play its way out. But when you look at the numbers we are
now talking about that are coming out in the unregularized fashion,
in which we have no say so or control about who is coming and which.
Castro is the one who makes the election as to who he puts on the
boat and who he doesn't put on the boat.
By the time we go through the regularized process, we will have
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, you know, Senator, you can't call a special
conference on what happened to be very short notice, and, at the
same time, tell the same country that you are going into every other
That conference would never take place. They would all wait for
the next bigger one.
So, we are trying to activate the international system in an orderly
way. Again, you can't do it all at once. I am as anxious as you are to
see these countries shoulder their share of the responsibility.
I think we received a very solid response at Costa Rica. I think we
are ready to take exactly the steps that you are pointing out. There
is no disagreement.
Senator CHILES. I would think -much more of your solid response
if I saw more of those countries on the lists that were going to see
When I see only Costa Rica who agreed to call the conference on
that list, Great Britain and the United States, I don't have any great
sense of euphoria what steps were taken.
Mr. PALMIERI. Well, Senator, no one knows better than a member
of this great body, the U.S. Senate, that not all the things that political
leaders would like to do are possible to do.
These countries have their politics, too.
We cannot press them to destabilize their situation, because in
doing so, to move too fast, would cut away at the basis of what we
are trying to build in this hemisphere.
Senator CHILES. Thank you, Senator Metzenbaum.
Senator METZENBAUM [acting chairman, presiding]. Thank you,
Senator DOLE. Thank you.
Mr. PALMIERI. Thank you.
Senator METZENBAUM. Your statement will be made a part of the
Mr. PALMIERI. Thank you.
Judge RENFREW. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Palmieri follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR AT LARGE VICTOR H. PALMIERI
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: 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
Nation's compassion for the oppressed and our tradition as a haven for the
persecuted, whatever their country of origin, whatever their race or color.
I want this committee and the country to understand three things about the
problem: 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 being
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. lie 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 outrageous
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
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 8 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 agricultural in-
dustries-have contributed to the difficulties of providing adequate economic 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 the future.
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 busses 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 com-
pound. The Cuban Government removed its guards and announced that all
those who wished to seek Peruvian visas would be free to leave Cuba.
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 intervened to
offer a staging area for resettlement 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 determination
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 Emer-
gency 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. im-
It may be useful to note that at this same time we were preparing for consulta-
tions with the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on refugee admissions 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 17 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 U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the Inter-
governmental 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 U.S.
Government that we would continue to use our best efforts to secure additional
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
community in Miami. As many as 200,000-300,000 of the more than one-half
million Cubans in Miami have relatives in Cuba. Many of these Cuban Americans
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 Naturalization
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 nonrelatives for every relative
taken on board. These nonrelatives 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 30,127 by May 9.
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 Committee,
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
provide 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 Management Agency established a Federal coordinating team in
Miami. Since that time, over 1,500 Federal officials have been concentrated in
South Florida, representing 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 Adminis-
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 totaling $10 million from the refugee emergency fund to
be used to reimburse voluntary organizations and community institutions for
resettlement services and other relief assistance in the Miami area.
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
activated at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas with capacity for 15,000-20,000.
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 317 have been 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 noncriminal 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 direction
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 already in
the United States and to relocate, outside of Florida to the extent practical, 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 9, cumulative arrivals reached 30,127. With 1,500 boats reported
standing by for loading at Mariel and with boat departures from Florida continuing
(although at a decreasing rate), we can expect to have a total of 50,000-60,000
arrivals by the end of May.
The task of receiving this massive number of arrivals each day, providing pre-
liminary screening, then transporting them either by bus to Miami or by airlift to
Eglin or Fort Chaffee, establishing adequate processing with the Federal and
voluntary agencies and then arranging for resettlement movements to points of
final destination, has tested the resources and the energies of the Cuban com-
munity in Miami, the State and local Officials and all the agencies of the Federal
Government. For 3 weeks now, many of those involved have been working around
the clock. While State and local agencies and the volunteers bore the brunt of the
impact in the first 2 weeks, I believe that the Federal Government has responded
well to an extraordinarily complex set of logistical and law enforcement problems,
made even more difficult by the intense emotional environment in Miami's Cuban-
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 communitywide response based on deep emotions
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 immigra-
tion laws and thus they offer an invitation to others to follow Castro's lead.
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 reunifica-
tion-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 $1,000 for every undocumented alien aboard. During
these last 3 weeks, our principal objectives have been to promote 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 U.N. High Commissioner for
Refugees and the Intergovernmental Committee 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 con-
vene 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 UNIICR to screen the
files of all Cubans in the United States requesting asylum status (just as the
UNIICR 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 pro-
vision 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 prepared
to react quickly and to make adjustments. Rather than devoting our energies
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 prece-
dents 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 considerable
experience in working with other nations of first asylum, we have never had to
cope, unitl now, with the problems of a first-asylum nation facing a sudden 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 carefully
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 determin-
ing an annual ceiling on the number of refugees brought to the United States for
permanent resettlement. That process is not inconsistent with affording temporary
refuge to all the needy people now reaching Florida. Once the rull dimensions 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 permanently resettle
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 humanitarian
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 officials
and with members of the Miami Cuban community seeking their cooperation 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 immigration 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 release to their fam-
ilies of those arrivals with close relatives. Let there be no mistake: the United
States will marshal its resources to afford temporary refuge-whatever Castro
chooses to do at Mariel, no matter how many he sends, and for as long as he wants
to be responsible for the deaths that will inevitably result.
Senator METZENBAUM. The chairman, Senator Kennedy, has asked
that we also insert at this point in the record, a letter he has just
received from Senator Burdick, chairman of the Subcommittee on
Regional and Community Development of the Environment and
Public Works Committee, expressing his deep concern over the use
of domestic disaster assistance funds to deal with Cuban refugees.
[The letter submitted by Senator Burdick follows:]
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS,
Washington, D.C., May 12, 1980.
Hon. EDWARD AM. KENNEDY, Chairman,
Senate' Judiciary Committee,
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE: Your concern for
the most grave problems that stem from the current influx of refugees from Cuba
is one that I share. These people are in distress, and so evidently is our govern-
ment in trying to find ways to assist them. In that regard I would concentrate
my remarks at this time on one particular aspect of the actions recently taken by
As a member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, and as
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Regional and Community Development, it
has been my privilege for many years to work with the legislation authorizing
federal disaster assistance. Public Law 93-288 known as the Disaster Relief
Act spells out clearly a wide range of circumstances either emergencies or disasters
that call for federal assistance. It also provides an equally broad array of programs
that give appropriate help to State and local entities confronted with disasters.
Throughout the history of this Act, Mr. Chairman, we on the Committee and
in the whole Senate, have carefully stressed that these authorities exist to respond
in situations of natural, physical disasters and emergencies. The assistance ad-
dresses both human and material needs, but the Act specifically addresses only
those needs arising from a limited field of occurrences enumerated in the defini-
tions section. We in no way deny the severity of other social needs. However,
this Act must not be interpreted to embrace them all.
The President used the authority of this Act to declare a national emergency
in Florida. This declaration will authorize federal assistance and expenditures
involving from ten to thirty million dollars, and this at a time when the funds
available for regular disaster programs are exhausted, with existing obligations
to States pending massive supplemental appropriations. In this case the President
has clearly gone beyond Congressional intent. For a variety of reasons the ad-
ministration determined that such action was acceptable and expedient. Ex-
pedient certainly, for we have drafted the legislation precisely to serve our people
swiftly and well in times of distress caused by natural and physical phenomenon.
However, in this set of circumstances it was not acceptable or appropriate. Other
channels should have been more rigorously examined. By making such a declaration
the Administration seriously jeopardized the necessary flexibility of the basic
Act for the future, if not the Act itself.
I have communicated my concern to the White House on this matter and the
implications for other such situations which they evidently failed to consider.
In your examination of the situation, Mr. Chairman, you may wish to touch upon
this issue and address the various appropriate options the Administration still
has open to provide the necessary assistance in alleviating the human suffering
of all those afflicted.
With kind regards, I am.
QUENTIN N. BURDICK, Chairman,
Subcommittee on Reigonal and
Senator METZENBAUM. Time is running out. We certainly want to
hear from Congressman Fauntroy, on behalf of the Congressional
Black Caucus Task Force on Haitian Refugees.
Congressman Fauntroy, we are happy to have you with us.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator METZENBAUM. I understand you are accompained by Mr.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Mr. Swartz and three Haitians.
Senator METZENBAUM. We want to hear your statement, and if
there is something very pressing that the others have to say, but other
than that, we will conclude the hearing.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I thought you might be interested in questioning
them on the validity of what I intend to say.
Senator METZENBAUM. Fine.
STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE WALTER E. FAUNTROY, DIS-
TRICT OF COLUMBIA; RICK SWARTZ, LAWYERS COMMITTEE
FOR CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER LAW; VIVIEN BOULOS, TRANSLATOR;
FATHER GERALD JEAN-JUSTE, DIRECTOR, HAITIAN REFUGEE
CENTER, MIAMI, FLA.; DANIEL VOLTAIRE, JOCELYN MARCELLUS,
AND MERILIEN MEZIUS, HAITIAN REFUGEES FROM MIAMI, FLA.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Mr. Chairman, on behalf of my distinguished
colleagues, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who is chairperson of
the Congressional Black Caucus Task Force on Haitian Refugees-on
which I also am a member-and on behalf of the Congressional Black
Caucus chairperson, Cardiss Collins, I wish to thank you for the
opportunity to appear before this committee on this crucial issue.
As indicated, I have been joined by Mr. Dale Swartz and several
Haitian refugees. Mr. Swartz is one of the lawyers who is representing
the Haitian refugees in the case before the Federal district court, in
The Congressional Black Caucus has been watching with shock,
outrage, and indeed, increasing anger, the treatment of Haitian
refugees-the black boat people.
The Haitian refugees have been fleeing brutal political persecution
in Haiti since 1972 and have sought political asylum in the United
States. They have crossed 800 miles of shark-infested waters in unsea-
worthy sailboats; many have died in an attempt to reach our shores.
Shamefully, our Government's response has been jailings, starva-
tion, and deportation of more than 1,000 Haitian refugees to Haitian
jails, where they faced torture and death, where we understand the
mortality rate is 80 percent.
TREATMENT OF HAITIANS VIOLATES U.N. PROTOCOL
In fact, this Government's policy toward Haitian refugees has been
carried out in violation of the U.N. protocol relating to the status
The U.N. protocol mandates that a person should not be returned
to a country if they have a "well-founded fear of persecution because
of race, religion, nationality, of political opinion or membership in a
particular social group."
The Government's policy of expulsion of Haitian refugees, has been
justified by evasion, half-truths, and sadly, even outright lies about the
human rights situation in Haiti, particularly by the Departments of
State and Justice.
This dishonesty has been combined with such gross incompetence
that it should scare anyone concerned with the administration's
ability to protect the national interest.
The facts in Haiti are now fully documented in the court case before
the Federal district court of Florida and the general situation has
been confirmed regarding the nature of the regime in the recently
released report on human rights conditions in Haiti, by the Organi-
zation of American States.
Testimony taken in court by former Ton Ton Macoutes, now known
as the Volunteers for National Security, and by a former member of
the presidential guard, are vivid in their testimony as to what has
awaited Haitian refugees deported from the United States.
The testimony establishes that President for life Jean-Claude
Duvalier has issued standing orders that all persons returned from
Haiti are to be sought out and destroyed by the security forces.
For the record, Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit a copy of the
Report on the Status of Human Rights in Haiti, by the Organization
of American States, dated April 17, 1980, as well as portions of the
transcripts from the trials in Miami Federal District Court.
Senator METZENBAUM. They will be inserted in the record at the
conclusion of the oral remarks.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
DISCRIMINATING TREATMENT OF HAITIANS
These transcripts are particularly relevant in documenting the
violations of equal protection and due process by the U.S. Immigration
and Naturalization Service with regard to Haitian refugees seeking
political asylum, and they tell a gruesome story of human rights'
conditions in Haiti-particularly, the fate of refugees deported back
We in the Congressional Black Caucus demand that this adminis-
tration-which has talked so loftily about human rights-get itself
together on the moral question of the Haitian refugees.
As late as last Friday, and indeed, as late as this morning, just
before my testimony, the administration was continuing to vacillate
and distort the situation equating the recent influx of Cubans with
the Haitian refugees who have been languishing and starving in
southern Florida for 8 years without any form of humanitarian
assistance from the Federal Government.
The fundamental requirement for equal protection under the law
did not find its way into American jurisprudence with the sudden influx
of Cuban refugees a few weeks ago.
We, as black people, want to make it clear that we understand the
connection between treatment of the Haitian refugees and the regard
which this administration may have for black people here at home.
PAROLE OF HAITIANS
For the administration to fail to address this issue immediately in
a humane and rational way by granting political refugee status by
May 15, 1980, when the President's power to grant refugee status
on a group basis to the Haitian boat people already in the United
States expires, would condemn this administration as one of the gross
hypocrisy and racism.
We, the Congressional Black Caucus, plan to stand with our Haitian
brothers and sisters in their quest for simple justice and will be taking
this issue to every forum and community available to us.
Thank you. I now request Mr. Swartz and the refugees join me to
provide the committee with some additional information.
Senator METZENBAUM. Thank you very much for an excellent state-
ment, Mr. Fauntroy, Mr. Swartz, very briefly, I would be happy
to hear from you, if you could document for us a couple of problem
cases and the treatment situation as you know it.
Then, the balance of your statement will be included in the record,
as will the full statements of any of the other persons present here.
HISTORY OF THE HAITIAN PROBLEM
Mr. SWARTZ. I am pleased to do that.
As has been indicated, Haitians have been arriving in south Florida
since 1972. The treatment by U.S. authorities has been shameful,
most particularly during the term of this administration.
Throughout this period, the Federal Government has taken the
position that Haitians are leaving only for economic reasons, and face
no reprisal upon return. That simply is not true, and the record speaks
for itself, particularly the record in this litigation, where finally, after
8 years, the Haitians have had an opportunity, because a Federal
judge has provided it to them, to speak on the record, truthfully.
The historical pattern is of note. Haitians did not start fleeing into
south Florida until 1972. Clearly Haiti was desperately poor, and
Florida comparatively rich, long before 1972. So why is it that Haitians
did not start fleeing until 1972? You must begin to look at what hap-
pened in Haiti in 1972.
Jean-Claude Duvalier assumed the Presidency. There was talk of
liberalization, that the human rights conditions would be improved.
Well, cosmetic changes were made. This administration in particular
has believed and asserted on behalf of the Haitian Government all
these claims to liberalization, that nothing has happened. People
were returned and indeed, that there are no political prisoners in
In 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, you see the State Department mak-
ing public statements about political conditions in Haiti. They simply
are not true.
What happened in 1972, in Haiti? The security forces, the Ton Ton
Macoutes significantly shifted the focus of their operation from the
urban areas to the rural areas. At that time, and in increasing numbers,
the refugees started flowing into south Florida.
These refugees are poor, they are peasants. They are the most de-
fenseless, most subject to victimization in Haiti. Not until 1972 did
the flow begin into south Florida, and it is very telling and draws clearly
and sharply into question the continuing assertions of the State
Department and this administration that Haitians are like Mexicans
who come to the United States for work.
FATE OF HAITIANS RETURNED TO HAITI
Senator METZENBAUM. Mr. Swartz, what happened with respect to
those Haitians who have been deported or expelled from America?
Mr. SWARTZ. Yes, we do know. In fact, we have with us today some
of the victims, some of the enforcers. I will summarize the testimony
very briefly for you. You may wish to ask questions, if not today, at a
later date. There are thousands of pages of testimony and documents
in this litigation.
It is incredible for me to hear the administration say, "We don't
want to make a hasty assessment of the situation." The situation has
been going on for years. The evidence has been building for years.
Daniel Voltaire was a member of the presidential guard in 1972,
until November, 1979. The presidential guard is an elite garrison,
right at the presidential palace.
He testified, in Federal court, under oath, that throughout that
period, 1972 until 1979, the commandant of the Haitian Army, General
Rosea, who reports only to President Duvalier, gave orders to the
entire garrison, and, indeed, to all security forces in Haiti, that each
and every single person return from abroad is a spy and a traitor, and
it is the duty of the security forces to seek them out and destroy them.
He testified under oath that the security forces got money bonuses
and enhanced chances for promotion if they succeeded in carrying out
It is quite extraordinary, to be given the testimony, to be given the
facts about Haiti, this Government has sent hundreds and hundreds of
Haitians back to Haiti to face an unknown fate.
There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever, indeed, we have clear
testimony in Federal court record, that unknown numbers are today
dead, having been deported back from the United States.
There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that unknown numbers,
and I would think they are in the hundreds, most likely, are languishing
in Haitian prisons where the mortality rate is 80 percent, having
been deported back from the United States.
PERSONAL TESTIMONY OF TORTURE
To my right is Jocelyn Marcellus. tHe was held in Fort Dimanche,
from March 1977 to March 1979. The State Department has asserted
on the public record that Fort Dimanche closed in September 1977.
They should ask Jocelyn Marcellus what the facts are, and what the
He was arrested, with six of his friends, as they were sitting under a
tree, asking among themselves, why is it that people are dying in the
streets of Haiti. Why is it that the Government is doing nothing but
destroying the Haitian people. That was his crime.
He was arrested by the security forces, taken directly to Fort
Dimanche, beaten senseless, partially blinded in one eye; he still
suffers. He is partially deaf in one ear.
The testimony in the law suit is graphic and disgusting. Held in
solitary confinement for 7 months, in about a 3- by 6-foot cell, whose
only visitors were rats and vermin.
His description of the food, the conditions in that prison are beyond
belief, to me.
After 7 months, he was joined by six other prisoners, in approxi-
mately a 3- by 7-foot cell; horrible conditions.
One of those persons was deported back from Miami. He told me he
was beaten senseless upon his arrival directly at Fort Dimanche. He
was handcuffed at the airport, taken directly to Fort Dimanche, is
what he told Jocelyn Marcellus.
He was taken to Fort Dimanche with 34 other people deported
back to Haiti from the United States.
Upon his arrival in Jocelyn Marcellus' cell, upon his arrival, his
physical condition again was horrible. He too had been beaten
Jocelyn, in the testimony in Federal district court, again under
oath, described his distorted facial features.
When Jocelyn Marcellus was released from prison in March 1979,
after returning from the United States, he was still held there and
they left him for dead. In fact, his testimony was that he hoped he
Other members of the security forces have testified under oath,
members of the Ton Ton Macoutes, that they had standing orders
to arrest all persons who returned from abroad.
This is not just one or two people, I am talking about evidence
that is clear, that is detailed, that is uncontradicted and is corrob-
The legal standard-at least that was admitted, by the adminis-
tration-the legal standard is that a refugee is a person who has a
well-founded fear of persecution upon return. I think there can be
no doubt whatsoever that Haitians are political refugees.
Senator METZENBAUM. Thank you very much, Mr. Swartz.
Senator Dole, I think, has a couple of questions.
STATUS OF CURRENT COURT CASE
Senator DOLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
What is the status of the case now?
Mr. SWARTZ. There are cases filed just about 1 year ago challeng-
ing the lawfulness of the processing of 5,000 political asylum applica-
tions, to process them in a period of 5 months, 5,000 in 5 months. It
is a matter of life and death.
Senator DOLE. Right.
Mr. SWARTZ. Five or six attorneys representing the Haitians, 150
proceedings a day, in September 1978. The attorneys find themselves
with 15 or 20 different proceedings scheduled simultaneously, in
Attorneys intimidated and coerced by immigration agents. Ab-
solutely no opportunity to even begin to provide effective represen-
Senator DOLE. Right.
What is the status?
Mr. SWARTZ. The status of it is that the final arguments have been
held. A decision is expected. We hope we might get one this week.
The information I received Saturday is it might not be in until some
time in June.
The best we can receive from the Federal judge is an order that all
of these 5,000 claims be reprocessed lawfully and at a rate that will
enable the Haitians to provide for representation.
STATUS OF HAITIANS
Senator DOLE. I wonder if I might find out through the interpreter-
are they working, relying on charity, what is their status, what is
[Father Gerard Jean-Juste acting as translator and repeating the
testimony from the Haitian witnesses.]
Father JEAN-JUSTE. Mr. Mezius has been here for a few years. He
doesn't have a refugee status yet. He is in a limbo situation, as is his
As the archbishop of Miami has said in a letter to the President,
these people are in a state of limbo for years. Other refugees will come
and, within 2 years, they will have their residence.
But the Haitians, after years, are still in a limbo situation, subject
to deportation. They are placed in a continuous, anxous state. So,
the situation is really detrimental to their mental helath.
So, Merilien, he is not working now. Yes, this one is working. H.
gets $3.65, he earns. The other one, your honor, Jocelyn Marcellus.
Jocelyn is not working at this rate because he has been in Washington
since a long time. But he finds something once in a while in Miami.
STARVATION AMONG HAITIANS IN FLORIDA
Senator DOLE. The statement indicated starvation. Has there been
any evidence of starvation in South Florida?
Father JEAN-JUSTE. Yes, your honor. Myself, and many other
friends and many other institutions, workers, were discovered as a
pocket of human beings, starving to death, in south Florida. We
One documentary would be CBS. When we went around we found
people who are starving to death in Miami. I think they showed that
on the air once.
Also, your honor, there are many other occasions. For instance, you
heard about perhaps the young man who died and they said he died
because he had a sickness from the liver. But, according to the wit-
nesses, according to the other friends who were with him, this man
died because he has been starving. He did not eat for 7 days.
When he arrived in Miami, the slowness in taking care of the
Haitian refugees caused his death. After he died, at that time they
called the ambulance.
So there are many cases like that in Miami.
Senator DOLE. Are the economic issues worse here or there?
Father JEAN-JUSTE. The thing is, it is not a matter of economics
here or in Haiti. The thing is these people are running for their life.
This is a matter of racing out for your life. They are looking for another
land where they expect to live free.
By coming here and they may have went to other islands where they
di d not feel secure or didn't like it, and they come here.
When they arrive here, they expect that they might find some
freedom. But instead, once in a while, it is a matter of death, maltreat-
ment, harassment. The Immigration Service did this purposely in
order to discourage Haitian refugees from seeking asylum here.
What we have to understand, your Honor, this is the first time in
history you have a group of black people coining to our shores seeking
asylum. This is unfortunate to see.
Any other boat people are welcome here. These Haitians, the first
group of black boat people have been so maltreated. They put people
who seek asylum in jail.
I have seen and found children in jail, December 2, 1978, a child, an
8-year-old child was found by me in the city jail, in West Palm Beach,
with other adults.
This child was hysterical. We never treated-it is not American, it is
not constitutionally, in my point of view, that we treated these people
So, we find many of them in the situation of harassment, continual
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST HAITIANS IN UNITED STATES?
Senator DOLE. Congressman Fauntroy, you have investigated this
matter and studied it very closely. Do you sincerely feel there has been
discrimination against the Haitians as compared to others that have
entered this country?
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without question, Senator Dole. What I think is
apparent here is that nearly 13,000 people are in southern Florida
without the minimal assistance our Government extends to other
No work permits. No medical care. No assistance in terms of food
In fact, that assistance is largely being provided by church and
humanitarian groups. It is for that reason, that not only the arch-
bishop of Miami, but the distinguished Representatives in the Con-
gress of the United States, from Miami, including Congressman
Pepper, Congressman Lehman, Congressman Fascell, Senator Stone,
have petitioned with the Governor and the mayor of the city that the
Haitian refugees be provided political refugee status.
That treatment is unprecedented. I do not know of any aliens who
have been imprisoned upon arrival here. That seems to us to be
Senator DOLE. I think the archbishop mentioned some black
Cubans coming in.
Mr. FAUNTROY. The archbishop did what?
Senator DOLE. Mentioned black Cubans were coming in with the
latest groups. I guess my point was, there has been some suggestion
maybe there are racial overtones, we are discriminating against
Haitians, not because of their persecution or threat, of persecution and
return because of their color.
I think that-I don't know that to be a fact. I have read and heard
some of the allegations. I have heard it denied this morning by
Ambassador Palmieri. Certainly, there should not be any discrimina-
tion in this program.
I see Mr. Swartz nodding. I have been watching him nod all morning,
one way or the other.
Mr. SWARTZ. Well, the facts-it is difficult to describe fully the
situation of course, in a hearing such as this. It has been going on for 8
I do not know any explanation ultimately than two, for the extraor-
dinary suffering the Haitians have received here in the United States.
The first is, they are fleeing a country with which the United States
has maintained good diplomatic relations for 22 years, a country
which we have supported militarily and financially for 22 years.
The purpose of the Refugee Act of 1980, the fundamental purpose
was to eliminate distinctions based upon ideology of one's homeland in
determining who would be refugees.
I want to point out that the Haitians could have been admitted
through the parole authority as political refugees before this Refugee
Act was signed into law.
There were hemispheric refugee programs for Chileans and Argen-
tineans under the parole authority before this act was signed into law.
So the excuse that this new legislation suddenly creates new oppor-
tunities, is just not true. The other explanation, I think, has to be
race; it has to be race.
Senator DOLE. I think their suggestion is that we ought to review
every one on a case-by-case basis. You are not objecting if there is
somebody undesirable in a group of 13,000 that they not remain here,
Mr. SWARTZ. No. It depends on the purpose of the review. The
Haitians have been going through political asylum proceedings for 8
years on a case-by-case basis.
Senator DOLE. They ought to be pretty well reviewed by now, I
Mr. SWARTZ. Well, no, I would suggest not because of the manner
in which those asylum claims were processed. They were denied any
opportunity to document that they have a well-founded fear of
People who would be admitted as refugees or the Haitians who were
here paroled by May 15 and given refugee status, they could be
processed on a case-by-case basis, not for the purpose of determining
whether they have a well-founded fear of persecution. That is what the
asylum process is supposed to be for, but rather to see whether they
are excludable because they may have criminal records or they may be
agents or whatever.
It is a totally different purpose, much less money involved.
Senator DOLE. You don't jeopardize that procedure by -
Mr. SWARTZ. By granting them refugees status.
Senator DOLE [continuing]. By granting parole.
Mr. SWARTZ. No, you do not.
MAY 15 DEADLINE
I want to point out, if I could something else. The administration
says the May 15 deadline is a phony deadline. It is not at all. Only
if action is taken to grant the Haitians refugee status by May 15,
can they be given political refugee status.
There are significant differences between what the administration
refers to as humanitarian parole, whatever that may mean, and
political refugee status.
Differences that the archbishop highlighted. You are given political
refugee status, you are eligible for resettlement assistance, job training,
You are not, under current legislation, eligible for those benefits
if you are given some other form of parole.
It is 100-percent Federal funding, of Federal assistance programs
for the first 2 years if you are granted political refugee status.
If you are paroled in on some other basis, the States and localities
which have been bearing this burden for years for the Haitians, would
continue to bear significant costs.
So, the notion of political refugee status by May 15 has great
significance, not only in terms of remedying the gross injustice of the
past that the Haitians have endured.
Not only in terms of acknowledging, finally, that indeed Haitians
are political refugees, but also looking at it from a purely practical
perspective. Is this a Federal problem or is this a problem that the
State of Florida is going to continue to bear forever.
Only granting the Haitians and the Cubans refugee status will
demonstrate moral commitment and humanitarian commitment,
providing open arms to all refugees, and only that will demonstrate
that it is a Federal responsibility and that States, localities, and
charitable organizations shall not bear the entire burden.
I think there is great significance to the May 15 deadline.
Senator DOLE. Thank you.
Mr. SWARTZ. Thank you.
Senator METZENBAUM. I want to thank you, Congressman, Mr.
Swartz, all the others, Haitians, and Haitian spokesmen.
That concludes the hearing. Other statements that are still avail-
able will be put into the record.
Thank you very much.
[Whereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the hearing was adjourned, subject to
the call of the Chair.]
[Subsequent to the hearing, the Chairman inserted the following
letter for the record, which was addressed to the President, and ad-
dresses the issues raised during the hearing.]
63-998 0 80 5
:,- .. A. COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
rman IcM a WASHINGTON. D.C. 20510
May 20, 1980
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing pursuant to our previous correspondence on
your decision to exercise the emergency provisions of The
Refugee Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-212), to deal with the Cuban
refugee problem as it had developed as of April 14th. Also,
I want to reiterate my recommendations as to how our govern-
ment should proceed in dealing with the escalating problems
among both Cuban and Haitian refugees.
First, I believe it is essential that we bring some order
to the chaos that has surrounded the flow of Cuban refugees to
the United States. I believe it is imperative to negotiate a
comprehensive agreement on orderly departure with the Cuban
government and to press other nations to receive their fair
share of refugees for final resettlement. As you probably
Rnow, we reviewed these issues in some detail with your rep-
resentatives during Judiciary Committee hearings on May 12th --
but serious questions remain and hard decisions have been post-
poned. The immigration status of Cubans and Haitians who are
already in the United States is unresolved. And the issue of
federal support for State, local and voluntary agencies help-
ing the refugees has been avoided.
Relative to Cubans, I have repeatedly urged your Adminis-
tration to utilize, on a case-by-case basis, the emergency
provisions of The Refugee Act of 1980. In statements on April
16th and 17th -- during the first Judiciary Committee hearing
and consultation under the terms of the new Act -- I strongly
supported your April 14th decision to use the emergency pro-
visions (Section 207Cb)) of the Refugee Act to respond to the
plight of Cubans in the Peruvian Embassy in Havana.
Following your Executive Order, the Judiciary Committee
immediately arranged for expeditious consultations to con-
sider the proposed admission of 3,500 Cubans -- as well as
other refugees previously scheduled for admission to the
United States for the remainder of fiscal year 1980. On
April 25th, Senator Thurmond and I wrote to you, on behalf of
the Committee, supporting your proposals and agreeing that the
admission of Cubans met the test of Section 207(b) of the
Refugee Act, which states:
If the President determines, after appropriate con-
sultation, that (1) an unforeseen emergency refugee
situation exists, (2) the admission of certain refugees
in response to the emergency refugee situation is justi-
fied by grave humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in
the national interest, and (3) the admission to the United
States of these refugees cannot be accomplished under sub-
section (a), the President may fix a number of refugees
to be admitted to the United States during the succeeding
period (not to exceed 12 months)...
However, during this period of consultation on your orig-
inal request for Cuban admissions, the situation in Havana
changed. Instead of being able to process Cubans at the
Peruvian Embassy in Havana, or in Costa Rica as originally
planned, the Cuban government halted the airlift to Costa Rica
and stimulated a massive sealift of Cubans to the United States.
It is my view that these developments did not create a
new refugee situation under the terms of The Refugee Act;
rather, they created a changed refugee situation. Cubans
flowing out of Havana subsequent to April 14th are part of a
'ugle foreign refugee situation which you properly deemed "an
unforeseen emergency refugee situation," for which their ad-
mission was "justified by grave humanitarian concerns" and
"otherwise in the national interest." These changed circum-
stances should have been dealt with by simply amending your
Executive Order of April 14th, and consulting again with the
However, your representatives, particularly Ambassador
Palmieri, United States Coordinator for Refugee Affairs, have
refused to take this course. They have repeatedly asserted
that Congress never intended that the provisions of the Refugee
Act should accommodate large numbers of refugees arriving
directly to our shores. This is correct in terms of the asylum
provisions of Section 208 of the Act. This section was added
to adjust only 5,000 asylum cases each year, for persons
already in the United States who are unable to return to their
native countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution,
as defined in the law.
But the current Cuban refugee flow was initiated under
Section 207 of the Act. It was judged to be a foreign refugee
situation, and although the modalities of the movement have
shifted, and refugees are arriving directly on our shores, it
remains a foreign refugee situation. (A similar situation
would arise if Vietnamese "boat people" reached Guam or Hawaii --
as was considered likely in 1978. Surely they could be treated
as refugees under the Indochinese refugee program, as author-
ized under Section 207 of the Act. Indeed, contingency plans
were developed in 1978 to accept Vietnamese refugees reaching
our shores the same way we have urged Malaysia or Hong Kong to
accept them -- by providing safe-haven under the auspices of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees until third
country resettlement opportunities can be arranged, either in
the United States or elsewhere.)
In no case, however, does this mean the United States must
take all who reach our shores, even if they are bona fide ref-
ugees under the United Nations Convention and Protocol Relating
to the Status of Refugees. Rather, we are required only to
provide safe-haven until such refugees are either admitted to
the United States, under the terms and conditions we establish
pursuant to the provisions of the Refugee Act, or until the
UNHCR can find third country resettlement opportunities or
facilitate voluntary repatriation. I would agree that simply
because a Vietnamese boat arrives in the United States -- or
a Cuban boat -- we are not required to resettle such individ-
uals, even though we may have already established a general
refugee admission program for Vietnamese (or Cubans) under
the terms of Section 207 of the Refugee Act.
What it does mean, however, is that* if we choose to do
so, we can use this legislation to respond effectively to such
refugees and give full and prompt assistance to the communi-
ties which receive the refugees. The Congress passed the
Refugee Act so as to avoid treating each new refugee situation
on an ad hoc basis, requiring new authorities to deal with it.
It is precisely this flexibility which is missing in the cur-
rent approach to handling the Cuban refugee problem. And it
is this that prompted my deep concern at the May 12th hearing --
my concern that if we fail to use the Refugee Act now, with the
flexibility and scope for which it was intended, we will likely
compromise its future use just as it has'been signed into law.
I would hope that you will see both the wisdom and bene-
fits of using the Refugee Act to handle those Cubans who are
already here and who meet, on a case-by-case basis, the cri-
teria and screening we establish-to judge their eligibility
for resettlement -- just as we establish criteria and screen-
ing for other refugee programs authorized under Section 207 of
the Act. By amending your Executive Order of April 14th and
consulting again on a second, more realistic ceiling for the
admission of Cuban refugees, you can utilize the tools made
available by the Refugee Act.
Finally, with regard to Haitians already in the United
States, I urge you again to direct the Attorney-General to use
available authorities under the Immigration and Nationality Act
of 1952, as amended, to dispense with all pending Haitian cases
and to institute fair procedures to handle future Haitian
cases under the terms of the Refugee Act. If we do not act
now to use the parole authority to resolve the Haitian cases,
- we will allow this tragic legacy of past injustice and dis-
crimination to continue into the future, poisoning our
ability to treat all new arrivals fairly. We must also take
diplomatic action, in concert with the U.N. High Commissioner
for Refugees and other Hemispheric nations -- to determine
whether Haitians leaving their country are, as a class, flee-
ing a well-founded fear of persecution, or whether only in-
dividual cases should be processed under the asylum provisions
of the new law. Only such a concerted and high-level effort
can lay to rest the concerns of many Americans that the Haitian
situation is not being taken seriously, and that Haitian ref-
ugees are not being treated fairly.
On both the Cuban and Haitian refugee situations, I urge
you to direct your representatives to consult with the
Judiciary Committees of the Congress and to develop reason-
able alternatives to the current, unacceptable situation.
You have my strong support in any endeavor to treat refugees
humanely and generously, consistent with our laws and our
Many thanks for your consideration, and best wishes.
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
17 April 1980
REPORT ON THE STATUS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI
(Approved by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
at its forty-eighth session)
This document is being distributed to the missions and delegations and
will be presented to the Preparatory Committee of the General Assembly
GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES.WASHINGTON, D.C. 20006
ORGANIZATION DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
'ORGANIZA(AO DOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
-.: ORGANISATION DES EATS AMERICAINS
ORGANIZATIONS N OF AMERICAN STATES
17th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006
17 April 1980
I have the honor of forwarding to Your Excellency, for the appro-
priate purposes, a copy of the note dated April 15, 1980, addressed to
me by the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights, Dr. Edmundo Vargas Carrefo, with which he sends the
"Report on the Status of Human Rights in Haiti," approved by that Com-
mission at its forty-eighth session.
Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest
(s) Alejandro Orfila
Mrs. Rita Delia Casco Montenegro
Chairman of the Preparatory Committee
of the General Assembly
Organization of American States
INTER AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA OE DERECHOS IIUMANOS
WMISSAO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANS
MISSIONN INTERAMIERICAINE DES OROITS OE L'HOMME
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
WASHINGTON.O. C. 20006 U.S.A.
15 April 1980
My Dear Mr. Secretary General:
In the absence of the Chairman of the Inter-American Commission oR
Human Rights, Professor Tom J. Farer, I have the honor to forward to
you the "Report on the Status of Human Rights in Haiti" (OEA/Ser.L/V/
11.46, doc. 66, rev. 1) approved by the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights at its forty-eighth session.
I respectfully ask you to forward that document to the governments
of the member states and to the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee
of the tenth regular session of the General Assembly for the appropriate
(s) Edm.undo Vargas Carrefo
Mr. Alejandro Orfila
Organization of American States
A. General Observations
1. An on-site investigation may be conducted either at the invita-
tion of the Government, or on the initiative of the Commission, but in
the latter case, the Government's consent is required. The present report
concerns the on-site observations conducted as the result of an invita-
tion by the Government of Hiti.
On September 27, 1977, at the time Haiti deposited its instrument
of accession to the American Convention on Human Rights, Ambassador Georges
Salomon, Permanent Representative of Haiti to the Organization of American
States, made the following statement:
And now the Government of Haiti, ever vigilant, ever respect-
ing law and order in this very over-populated country, turns to
the Organization of American States and particularly to the Inter-
American Commission on Human Rights, which it will soon be inviting
to Haiti (I have already received instructions on this question).
The Commission will come, in part, to examine the few cases still
pending before the Commission, but mainly to study, in consultation
with the Government, what measures will best serve to make the Haitian
people aware of all their civil and political rights, and to promote
respect for and expansion of these rights, which are upheld in Haitian
domestic laws and in the ConEritution.
The Haitian Government's invitation to the Commission, contained
in a telegram dated January 30, 1978, reads as follows:
I have the pleasure to inform you that the Government of Haiti
proposes to issue an official invitation to the Inter-American Com-
mission on Human Rights to visit Haiti at a mutually convenient
date. This visit will enable the Commission to assess the progress
the country has made in the area of human rights, and, in consulta-
tion with the Haitian authorities, to examine what measures would
best serve to consolidate this progress and make the Haitian people
aware of all their civic and political rights, and promote respect
for and expansion of human rights.
2. In a note dated February 3, 1978, the Commission notified the
Government of Haiti of its acceptance of this invitation:
In its forty-third special session held in Caracas on January
26 through February 3, 1978, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights learned of your cable of January 30 addressed to the Executive
Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Edmundo Vargas Carreho.
The Commission would like to express its satisfaction at receiv-
ing this official communication, which confirms the Government of
Haiti's intention of inviting the Commission to visit the country,
announced by you on September 7, 1977 at the time your country's
instrument of accession to the American Convention on Human Rights
Precise instructions have been given to the Executive Secretary
of the Commission, Mr. Edmundo Vargas Carreho, regarding the details
of the visit, which must be conducted according to the rules approved
by the Commission. Mr. Vargas Carreio will be in contact with Your
Excellency upon your return to Washington.
Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest con-
(s) Andr&s Aguilar M.
3. At its meeting held on May 31, 1978, the Commission formed a
special Commission to conduct the on-site investigations discussed in the
above communications. The Commission also decided to propose to the Govern-
ment of Haiti that the visit should take place from August 16 through
August 25, 1978, On August 2, 1978, the Permanent Mission of Haiti to
the Organization of American States replied in the following terms:
My dear Mr. Executive Secretary:
In reference to your letter of July 21, 1978, I have the honor
to inform you that the Government of Haiti gives its consent to the
on-site visit to Haiti by the Special Commission of the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights to take place August 16 through 25.
I wish the members of the Commission and the staff accompanying
them a fruitful and agreeable visit to the hospitable country of
Most sincerely yours,
(s) Georges Salomon
4. The rules quoted by the President of the Commission in his note
of February 3, 1978 are contained in the resolution quoted below:
RESOLUTION ON ON-SITE OBSERVATIONS
Article 11 of the Statute of the Commission and Article 50 of its
Rules of Procedure empower the Commission to move to the territory of
any American State, with the consent or at the invitation of the Govern-
ment concerned, for the purpose of carrying out an on-site investigation,
The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights,
To establish the following rules:
1. On-site investigations that the Commission may decide to conduct
shall be carried out according to the following regulations:
a. The Commission shall determine the composition of the special
Commission responsible for on-site observations;
b. The special Commission or any of its members shall be able
to interview, freely and in private, persons, groups, en-
tities or institutions, the Government being obligated to
grant the pertinent guarantees to all those who may give
the Commission information, testimony or evidence of any
c. The members of the special Commission shall be able to travel
freely throughout the country, and shall be provided for
that purpose with an official travel document issued by
the Government for their identification;
d. The government shall assure the availability of local trans-
e. The members of the special Commission shall have access
to the jails and all other detention and interrogation cen-
ters, and shall be able to interview in private those persons
sentenced or detained;
f. The government shall provide the special Commission with
any document or information regarding the observance of
human rights that it may consider necessary for the prepara-
tion of its report;
g. The Special Commission shall be able to use any appropriate
method to collect, record and reproduce information that it
h. The government shall adopt appropriate measures of security
for the protection of the special Commission;
i. The government shall assure the availability of adequate
lodging for the members of the Commission.
2. The guarantees and facilities listed in the preceding paragraph
shall be extended to the Secretariat staff accompanying the Commission.
3. The expenses incurred by the special Commission, each of its
members and the Secretariat staff shall be borne by the Organization
of American States, subject to the pertinent provisions of the regulations.
B. Organization and Work of the Special Commission
1. The special Commission appointed by the Inter-American Commis-
sion on Human Kights to conduct the on-site observations in Haiti con-
sisted of three members: Mr. Andr6s Aguilar, Chairman of the Inter-American
Commission, Mr. Carlos Garcia Bauer and Mr. Marco Monroy Cabra. The Com-
mittee was assisted by staff of the Secretariat of the IACHR.
2. As usual, the Special Commission took steps to maintain its
independence, and prepared its schedule for the public and private sectors
in Haiti, in order to carry out its mission.
3. The observation visit took place from August 16 through August
25, 1978. Since Mr. Andres Aguilar had to leave for New York on August
20, the Special Commission continr[ed to operate with two members, under
the chairmanship of Mr. Carlos Garcia Bauer. Upon its arrival in Haiti,
the Special Commission issued a press'release, informing the public of
the reasons for the visit and inviting individuals or organizations to
present communications and to comment on the subject of the observance
of human rights in Haiti. It also held a number of press conferences
explaining the nature of the Commission's functions and the purpose of
its visit. The activities of the Special Commission received satisfac-
tory coverage in the printed media and on the radio and television.
The Committee also received the necessary cooperation from the Haitian
4. The Special Commission went to Port-au-Prince, the capital of
Haiti and to two cities in the interior of the country, Cap Haitien and
Jacmel. In Port-au-Prince, the Commission met with the President of
the Republic, Mr. Jean-Claude Duvalier, the State Secretaries for the
Departments of the Interior and Defense, Foreign Affairs, Education,
Public Health and Population, and Social Affairs, and also with the
President of the Legislative Chamber and members of the Supreme Court.
It also met with the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, and had occasion to
exchange views with members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the
Government of Haiti. In Cap Haltien and Jacmel, the Committee met with
local civil and military authorities.
In both Port-au-Prince and the other places visited, the Commission
received denunciations, and heard statements from a number of individuals
who wished to speak to it. It also heard from spokesmen from a number
of religious groups, and representatives of professional associations,
student groups, trade unions and political and civic organizations.
The Special Commission visited the National Penitentiary in Port-au-
Prince and local prisons in Cap Haitien and Jacmel. It was able to talk
freely and in private with those prisoners it wanted to see, and with
those who had told the Committee of their desire to submit complaints.
The Committee inspected the cell:; and examined the prison conditions,
the medical care and the legal aid available to prisoners, and investigated
all questions it considered useful in preparing the present report.
The Commission also visited a number of industries, in particular
Ciment Haiti where, some time earlier, there had been union troubles.
In these factories, the Commission met :clparately and in private, with
employers, workers and union leaders. Unfortunately, the Special Com-
mission was unable to interview workers and luiion leaders of the HASCO,
where according to information received, there had been labor conflicts
because the manager or director of the factory, Mr. Hill, an American
citizen, had refused access to the factory premises.
5. The special Commission wishes to point out that the government
of Haiti cooperated fully with the Commission during its visit, provid-
ing it with the documents and data requested, and not interfering with
The sources ured in preparing the present report can be categorized
as follows: a. personal observation: by members of the Special Commis-
sion; b. information obtain dmur.hing lh,' Interviews; c. laws and in-
formation furnished by the government of Haiti; d. information obtained
from various sources on the observation of human rights in Haiti, and
e. documents presented by the complainant: and other persons.
D. Organization of the Report
1. The first chapter of the report deals with Haitian law from
the perspective of human rights: international obligations assumed by
Haiti, the Constitution and laws of the country, and government measures
taken in violation of constitutional principles. Subsequent chapters
discuss those rights that the Commission feels are particularly pertinent
to the situation of human rights in Haiti. The report ends with the Com-
mission's conclusions and recommendations.
2. The individual cases brought to the Committee's attention that
are cited in the present report, as well as other cases not reported
here, will be the subject of separate studies, as called for in the reg-
ulations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
E. Updating of the Current Report
This report was delivered to the Permanent Mission of Haiti to the
OAS on Monday, July 2, 1979. At that time, the government of Haiti was
given the opportunity, if it so desired, to present within a period of
six weeks, its observations to the report. A representative of the govern-
ment, in a letter dated September 1, 1979, requested an extension of
that deadline to October 15. On November 27, 1979, the IACHR received
the response of the government of Haiti to the Commission's report.
Prior to that date, the government had forwarded a memorandum on the
report which was received on June 18, 1979, and some preliminary observa-
tions dated August lh of that same year.
On December 7, 1979, Mr. Endicott Peabody, duly authorized as repre-
sentative of the government of Haiti, according to a note of November 16,
1979, and accompanied by Messrs. James Sollins, David Taylor and Jorge
C6rdova, made an oral presentation to members of the Inter-American Com-
mission. Moreover, members heard testimony and received information
from various sources on the situation of human rights in Haiti.
In light of the documents and the additional information received,
the Commission decided to update the report to December 13, 1979, the
date the report was adopted.
A. Haiti's international obligations in the field of
1. Haiti has assumed certain international obligations in the
field of human rights. It has signed the United Nations Charter and
the Charter of the OAS, and has approved the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. Haiti is also a member of the ILO, UNESCO and other inter-
2. On February 27, 1977, Haiti deposited its instrument of accession
to the American Convention on Human Rights (Pact of San Jose). The Con-
vention entered into force on July 18, 1978. As a result, Haiti is legally
obliged to observe the rights and freedoms upheld in the Convention, and to
guarantee all persons under its jurisdiction free and full exercise of
their rights, without discrimination for reasons of race, color, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinions, national origin or social
position, economic situation, birth, or any other social condition (Article
1, paragraph 1).
Article 2 of the Convention obliges the States Parties to adopt such
domestic laws as may be necessary to make these rights and freedoms effec-
tive. The State Secretary for the Departments of the Interior and National
Defense referred to this issue in his note of August 25, 1978:
As of now, this legislation (i.e. decrees conferring full powers
on the Head of State) will henceforth be adapted to the Charter on
human rights, which has had the force of law in the country since it
was ratified. 1/
1. Note from Mr. Ardlien C. Jeanty, State Secretary for the Interior
and National Defense of Haiti, addressed to the President of the Inter-
American Comission on Human Rights, dated August 25, 1978 (No. D-6: 2030)1
3. Haiti ha:: ail.o ratified international instruments regarding
the protection of specific right::, such as the Convention for the pre-
vention and repre:;rion of genocide, and the ILO Convention (No. 29) on
Forced Labor. 2/ Haiti has denounced the inter-American conventions on
the right of asylum, j/ by issuing four decrees dated July 27, 1967.
These decrees were later annulled and replaced by four other decrees
dated January 28, 1973, "in order to re-establish in conformity with
prescribed procedures, the rights and obligations of the Republic of
Haiti as a party" to each of these conventions on asylum.
2. Haiti is a party to the following treaties: Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (December 9, 1948,
entered into force on January 12, 1951); Pupplementary Convention on the
abolition of slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar
to Slavery (December 7, 1956 entered into force on April 30, 1957); Conven-
tion for the 3Cuppres.;ion of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation
of the Prostitution of Others (March 21, 1950, entered into force on July
25, 1951); ILO Convention No. 29 concerning Forced or Compulsory labor
(1930, entered into force on May 1, 1932); ILO Convention No. 105 concern-
ing the Abolition of Forced Labor (June 25, 1957, entered into force on
January 17, 1959); ILO Convention No. 98 concerning the application of the
Principles of the Right to Org:mizc and to Bargain Collectively (July 1,
1959, entered into force on July 18, 1951); Convention on the Political
Rights of Women (March 31, 1953 entered into force on July 7, 1954); Inter-
American Convention on the Granting of Political Rights to Women (May 2,
1948); Geneve Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of.the
Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (August 12, 1949); Geneva
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and
Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea (August 12, 1949); Geneva Con-
vention relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War (August 12, 1949);
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms'of Racial Discrim-
ination (December 21, 1965, entered into force on January 4, 1969); ITO
Convention No. 100 on Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for
Work of Equal Value (July 29, 1951, entered into force on May 23, 1953).
3. Inter-American Convention on the Right of Asylum (Havana, 1928),
Inter-American Convention on Political Asylum (Montevideo, 1933), Inter-
American Convention on Territorial Anylum (Caracas, 1954), Inter-American
Convention on Diplomatic Asylum (Caracas, 1954).
B. ThE 196)4 CONSTITUTION AND THE REFORMS OF 1971
1. The present Constitution in force in Haiti was promulgated
in 1964. L/ The Constitution was amended on January 14, 1971, by a
number of reforms dealing with the form of election of the President
for Life and the minimum age requirements for public office.V/ According
to the government, the Constitution was "repromulgated" in its entirety
by the National Assembly at that time.
The text of the Constitution adopted in 1971 consists of 201 articles
divided into 15 chapters. For the purposes of the present report, the
most important provisions are those defining the rights and guarantees of
the inhabitants of the Republic (Title I), those determining the orgAni-
zation of government (Title IV), and those regulating the state of siege
and amendments to the Constitution (Titles XIII and XIV).
2. The following individual rights and guarantees are upheld in
the 1971 Constitution: the right to personal freedom (Article 17), and
to personal security (Article 17, paragraph 8), the right to be judged
by one's peers (Article 18), the right to property (Article 22), freedom
of expression (Article 26), freedom of religion (Article 27), freedom of
assembly (Article 31), and the right of association (Article 32). It also
establishes the principle of the illegality of arrests, detentions and
proceedings (Article 17); illegal search and seizure (Article 19), and of
illegal sentencing (nullum crime nulla poena sine ,lege) (Article 21).
All cases of detention must be brought before a judge within forty-eight
hours to determine the legality of the measure (Article 17). The death
penalty is forbidden in political cases, except in the case of treason
(Article 25). It should be pointed out that the anti-communist law of
April 28, 1967 prescribed the death penalty for the more expression of
ideas that are judged to be communist (See Chapter IV).
The Constitution also establishes the principle of the supremacy of
the Constitution (Article 38), the principle of the non-retroactivity of
legislation (except for being penal laws) (Article 20), inviolability of
the mails (Article 54) and the principle of equality before the law
(Article 16), a principle that is limited in the case of aliens (Title II,
4. Le Moniteur, (Official Gazette), June 21, 1964.
5. Le Moniteur, (Official Gazette), January 20, 1971. This
edition will be considered as the official text for the purposes of the
63-998 0 80 6
As will be seen below, the rights, guarantees and principles men-
tioned above are subject in many cases to certain duties and to limita-
tions set forth in the regulations.
3. The 1971 Constitution organizes the government into three
branches: The executive, the legislative and the judiciary (Article 47).
The three branches of government are independent of each other and may
not delegate their powers nor exceed their mandates (Article 48).
Legislative authority is exercised by a single chamber called the
Legislative Chamber (Article 49). In certain cases, notably for purposes
of revising the Constitution or when it serves as the Supreme Court of
Justice, the Chamber takes the name of the National Assembly (Articles 55
and 56). The Chamber normally sits for only three months of the year,
but the session may be prolonged (Article 61). Laws are passed by the
Chamber and promulgated by the Executive, which has the right of veto.
Nonetheless, it is not an absolute veto power since it can be over-ridden
by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Chamber (Articles 68 and 79).
The Constitution is precise and detailed in spelling out the inviolability
of the members of the Legislature (Articles 70, 71 and 72).
Executive authority is conferred upon a citizen titled President of
the Republic (Article 90). The minimum age at which one can become presi-
dent was 40 under the 1964 Constitution and has been reduced to 18 by the
1971 amendments (Article 91). Article 87 of the 1957 Constitution, which
limited the President's term of office to six years, was deleted from the
1964 and 1971 texts. Dr. Franqois Duvalier was designated President-for-
Life (Article 99), with the authority to appoint his successor (Article
100), who also has a mandate for life (Article 104).
The Executive Branch has very considerable powers. The President
is responsible for the overall administration of the country, for the
appointment and dismissal of Cabinet members and public servants, for
promulgating the laws, for adopting regulations for the conduct of foreign
affairs, and for commanding the Armed Forces, the Police and the National
Security Volunteers (Articles 93 and 187). Nonetheless, the President may
not grant amnesties except for political matters, and in accordance with
the law (Article 93, last paragraph), and in general, has only those powers
granted him under the Constitution and the laws (Article 95).
Judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation),
the Courts of Appeal and the lower courts. Judges are appointed by the
President for six years; they may not be removed from their positions
during their term, save for "special laws setting forth the reasons for
which they are to be removed from that post" (Article 111). Employees of
the Public Prosecutor's Office and justices of the peace may be appointed
and dismissed by the President without restriction.
The Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) has the power of judicial
review by which it can declare laws unconstitutional in all cases
brought before it. It also acts as an appeals court for all military
court decisions (Articles 121 and 120). As a general rule, the courts
may not enforce governmental administrative orders or decrees unless
they are in conformity with the law (Article 125). Except for certain
limitations all hearings must be public, however, cases involving poli-
tical crimes or the press are prohibited from being heard in private
4. The 1964 and 1971 Constitutions are flexible. The Legislature
may rule on the need for total or partial amendment, without the need for
special majorities. It may continue to sit under the name of National
Assembly, pass laws and decree such amendments as it deems useful (Article
198, official text: Article 199, text of the version of the National Press
C. EMERGENCY LEGISLATION
1. State of Siege
On May 2, 1958, the Haitian Legislature proclaimed the state of
siege. 6/ This law also authorized the Executive to determine what
portion of the territory was placed under a state of siege, and sus-
pended certain individual guarantees defined in the Constitution then
On the same date, an Executive Order extended the state of siege
to the entire national territory. V/ Shortly afterwards, the Legisla-
ture adopted a decree suspending other guarantees and conferring full
powers on the President for a six-month period "to take all measures
he considers necessary for the internal and external security of the
state, and to safeguard the interests of the nation, by means of Decrees
having the force of law." 8/ In its observations, the Government makes
known that due to the repromulgation of its Constitution in 1971, the
existence of the state of siege ceased at that time.
Article 195 of the 1964 Constitution stipulated as follows:
No place and no part of the territory may be declared to be
in a state of siege except in cases of a civil disorder or an
imminent invasion by foreign forces.
An act issued by the President of the Republic declaring a
state of siege must be signed by all the State Secretaries and shall
provide for the immediate convocation of the Legislature to rule on
the appropriateness of the measure.
The Legislature shall decree, with the Executive Branch, which
of the constitutional guarantees may be suspended in the parts of
the territory placed under a state of siege.
The impact of the state of siege on the country shall be governed
by a special law.
The 1971 Constitution has an identical text (Article 197, official edition;
Article 198, edition of the National Press of Haiti). 2/
6. Law of May 2, 1958, Article 1.
7. Order of May 2, 1958, Article 1.
8. Decree of the Legislative Body, July 31, 1958, Article 2.
9. The text of the 1957 Constitution was practically identical to
the present text. 1957 Constitution, Article 185.
2. Full powers and suspension of
Both during the presidency of Frangois Duvalier and under the
present government, the Legislature at the end of its annual sessions
has been in the habit of passing a number of decrees conferring full
powers on the Chief Executive during the legislative recesses, and sus-
pending the sost important constitutional guarantees for the same period
of time. Generally speaking, these recesses last from August until
April of the following year, during which time the Haitian people are
deprived of the constitutional protection of their most fundamental
Each year from 1964 to 1970, under the regime of the 1964 Constitu-
tion, the Legislature suspended the guarantees upheld in twenty-four
(later twenty-three) articles of the Constitution. L/ From 1971 to the
present, it has been much more difficult to determine which guarantees
have been affected by the decrees in question. By way of example, the
Legislative Decree of August 25, 1977 I/ provides as follows:
Article 1. The Guarantees set forth in Articles 17, 18, 19t
20, 25, 31, 34, 48, 70, 71, 72, 93 (last paragraph), 95, 112, 113,
122 (second paragraph), 150, 151, 155, 193 and 198 of the Constitu-
tion are hereby suspended.
Article 2. Full powers are hereby given to the Chief Executive
to enable him, until the second Monday in April 1978, to take all
measures he may deem necessary to safeguard the territorial integrity
of the nation and the sovereignty of the State, to consolidate peace
and order, to maintain national political, economic and financial
stability, to expand the well-being of the rural and urban population
and to defend the general interest of the Republic, by means of
decrees having the force of law.
From 1964-1974, during which time the Constitution was in force, the
most important individual guarantees were suspended each year for long
periods of time, as a matter of routine. The result was that without
these guarantees, there was insufficient protection for the rights con-
secrated in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
10. Article 216 of the 1964 Constitution (now Article 129) was
affected by the 1966 decree, but in 1970, was excluded from the list
of suspended provisions. See the decrees of the Legislative Chamber of
September 17, 1966 and August 20, 1970.
11. Le Moniteur, August 25, 1977.
Government spokesmen have insisted that the annual decrees of full
powers and suspension of guarantees are vital if government programs
are to be carried out, and that the practice must therefore be con-
tinued in the future. The Government has nonetheless stated that in
the future these decrees must abide by the standards of the American
Convention on Human Rights. E/
It should be noted that the February 1979 legislative elections
were held during a period of full powers plainss pouvoirs), during
which the constitutional protection of the fundamental rights was
12. Note from Mr. Aurdlien C. Jeanty, Secretary of State for the
Interior and National Defense, to the President of the Comission, August
25, 1978, page 1.
RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PERSONAL SECURITY
The American Declaration of the
Rights and Duties of Man
Every human being has the right
to life, liberty and the security
of his person./j
A. CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS
1. Article 5 of the 1964 Constitution of Haiti, as amended in 1971,
expressly declares that: "The life and liberty of Haitians are sacred
and must be respected by individuals and by the State."
2. Nonetheless, Article 25 provides for capital punishment in the
case of treason: "Capital punishment may not be imposed for any political
offense except treason." This article defines treason as "taking up arms
against the Republic of Haiti, Joining avowed enemie:n of Haiti, and giving
them aid and comfort."
1. American Convention on Human Rights
Article 4 Right to life
1. Every person has the right to have his life respected. This
right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of
conception. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
P. In countries that have not abolished the death penalty, it may
be imposed only for the most serious crimes and pursuant to a final
judgment rendered by a competent court and in accordance with a law
establishing such punishment, enacted prior to the commission of the
crime. The application of such punishment shall not be extended to
crimes to which it does not presently apply.
3. The death penalty shall not be re-established in states that
have abolished it.
4. In no case shall capital punishment be inflicted for political
offenses or related common crimes.
5. Capital punishment shall not be imposed upon persons who, at
the time the crime was committed were under eighteen years of age or
over seventy years of age; nor shall it be applied to pregnant women.
6. Every person condemned to death shall have the right to apply
for amnesty, pardon, or commutation of sentence, which may be granted
in all cases. Capital punishment shall not be imposed while such a
petition is pending decision by the competent authority.
B. INDIVIDUAL DENUNCIATIONS OF VIOLATIONS OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE
3. A communication of July 8, 1971 denounced the arbitrary deten-
tion of Joseph Nicolas Gaetjens, a Haitian citizen, who was arrested in
Port-au-Prince on July 8, 1964 at 10:00 a.m. by an armed, uniformed police
officer, Lt. Edouard Guillot, and by two armed plain clothes men. The
arrest took place in the presence of numerous people. The complainant
states that since that time, there has been no more information about
Mr. Gaetjens, whereabouts or about his situation as a whole. It is
stated that no proof has been shown that he was brought before the
competent authorities, and that there is fear for his life.
The government of Haiti has not replied to the Commission's
request for information on this affair, with the result that, at its
thirtieth session, the 1ACHR decided to invoke Article 51 of its
Regulations, and presume the events denounced to be confirmed; the
Commission advised the Haitian authorities that these facts constitute
an extremely serious violation of the right to freedom and personal
The fact that Mr. Gaetjens, a football player of international
standing, has not been seen since his detention in 1964, leads to the
conclusion that he is dead since he was in the hands of the Haitian
authorities under circumstances that have never been made public.
4. In a letter dated January 20, 1972, the Commission was informed
On April 26, 1963, between two and three in the afternoon,
Roland Chassagne, who worked in the workshop of the Deschamps
Company, located on the Boulevard Jean Jacques Dessalines in
Port-au-Prince, was arrested by four Tonton-Macoutes, who were
under the command of a certain attorney named Durand, who lived
on Clerveaux street in Petionville. Georges Chassagne, brother
of Roland Chassagne, was a witness to the arrest. The group left
in a car in the general direction of the Department of the Interior,
the Police Headquarters, and the National Palace.
A few minutes later, Georges Chassagne learned that his
brother had been taken to Fort Dimanche.
Georges Chassagne obtained an interview with the State
Secretary of the Interior, to whom he recounted his brother's
illegal arrest, and demanded that he be released. The Secretary
responded that the question would be studied, but since that time
no further information was provided.
The government reports that no person of that name was arrested
on the date indicated, and made no comment when documents providing
these facts were sent to it. The lACHR, in its thirtieth session,
invoked Article 51, and presumed the events denounced to be true,
declaring that this was an extremely serious violation of human rights.
During the Special Commission's visit to Haiti, the government
provided a "List of requests for death certificates," in which the name
of Roland Chassagne appears. It indicated that Mr. Maurice Vilaire
had filed a request on May 2, 1978. In January 1979, the government
was asked to provide more extensive information with regard to this
request. The government did so, but did not indicate the circumstances
5. Another case brought to the Commission's attention is that of
Hubert Legros. The Commission was informed that Legros had been de-
tained without trial and without any preliminary investigation by the
State's attorney, for a period of two and a half years until December
1972, at which time, he appeared on the list of 72 people granted
amnesty by President Jean Claude Duvalier. It was subsequently alleged
that three weeks after being released, Legros was arrested and imprisoned
in Fort Dimanche because he had supported other prisoners who had been
pardoned but who had not been released. In a note dated August 28, 1975,
the government reported that Hubert Legros had "received clemency from
the President-for-life of the Republic, which reduced his sentence."
The government has never informed the Commission of the details of the
trial nor of the sentence which was subsequently reduced. The IACHR
received this information, from the government, but the circumstances regard-
ing his death were not explained. The government informed the IACHR on
October 5, 1977 that as regards the request for more specific informa-
tion, "it is up to his parents to file a petition with the civil courts
in Port-au-Prince, which will shortly provide them with all the necessary
The name of Legros appears on the "List of requests for death
certificates," with the observation that Mrs. Andr6e Bruts asked for a
decision on June 29, 1978.
6. On March 10, 1971, the Commission received a cable asking it
to intervene in the affair of 14 people arrested in April 1970, who
had been given a secret trial.
Despite repeated demands, notably with respect to Kesner Blain,
the government replied only in general terms questioning the Commis-
sion's jurisdiction in this area.
With regard to another case, the government informed the IACHR
as follows: "Ex-colonel Kesner Blain will be brought before a military
court and tried by his peers in the regular manner for the crime of
conspiracy and high treason."
The Commission asked for specific information on the question of
Kesner Blain on September 19, 1977. It particularly asked about the
date on which he was brought to trial and about the sentence he was
given. Instead of providing the information asked for, the government
informed the Commission that "the parents of Ex-colonel Kesner Blain
may file a petition with the civil courts of Port-au-.Prince, which will
shortly provide them with all the necessary information."
C. OTHER DEATHS IN PRISON
7. After the visit of the Special Commission, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights sent the Government a note on September 11,
1978, with the following list of 151 individuals who, according to the
allegations of accusers, were executed while in prison or who died in
prison because of lack of medical care.
LIST OF DEAD PRISONERS
AUGUSTERE cell 1, Plaine du Cul de Sac, poet, journalist, arrested in
January 1971, released in December 1972, re-arrested in
January 1973, died in 1975 of diarrhea.
Joseph ALEXANDRE cell 3, known as Djo Malaca, Port-au-Prince, died on
November 1, 1975, of physical weakness and mental illness.
Gerard AUGUSTIN, cell 1, St. Marc, 53 years old, sociologist, imprisoned
3 times, died on September 19 at 4:00 p.m. of tuberculosis.
Marcus ANDRE cell 7, J4remie, professor, died in 1975 of diarrhea.
Jean-Claude ALEXANDRE cell 7, Jerdmie, professor, died in 1975 of
Ezechiel ABELARD cell 6, died in September 1976 of tuberculosis.
Massena ANIBOT cell 8, died in August 1976 of tuberculosis and mal-
nutrition, a peasant from l'Arcahaie.
Robert ACHADE cell 7, Arcahaie, died in 1975.
Joseph BRIOLLI cell 4, Port-au-Prince, a former macoute, died in 1976
of diarrhea and tuberculosis.
Jean-Robert BELLEVUE cell 1, Plaine du Cul de Sac, professor of history,
died in August 1975 of tuberculosis.
Georges BISRETE cell 2, Fond des Blancs, speculator, died in February
1976 of rheumatism and tuberculosis.
Andr6 BIEN-AINE cell 3, Cayes, worked in the Chamber of Deputies, died
in July 1976 of malnutrition.
Renel BAPTISTE cell 7, Jacmel, lived in the Dominican Republic, worked
in Africa on filming The Comedians, died on July 19, 1974
Fred BAPTISTE cell 1, Jacmel, died on June 16, 1974 of tuberculosis
and mental illness.
Justin BERTRAND cell 5, Port-au-Prince, a former macoute chief, died
on August 26, 1975 of tuberculosis and diarrhea.
Ronel BERTRAND cell 2, Port-au-Prince, a former macoute chief, died
in February 1976 of rheumatism and tuberculosis.
Paul BLANC cell 4, husband of the deputy Madame Paul Blanc, died in
July 1976 of diarrhea.
Kesner BLAIN cell 3, Port-au-Prince, ex-colonel, died on February 1,
1976 of tuberculosis.
Fritz BAUDET cell 3, Port-au-Prince, coastguard, died in July 1975
Noly BUROH cell 3, sailor, died in 1976 of tuberculosis.
Jean-Claude BOUCICAUT cell 4, Port-au-Prince, former macoute, died
in January 19, of tuberculosis.
Hora BATISTAIN cell 3, tin-smith, died in February 1973 of typhoid.
Julien BANO cell 1, Arcahaie, died in 1975 of diarrhea.
Henri BAFARD cell 4, Thiotte region, died in January 1973.
Sifra CESAR cell 8, died in 1972 of tuberculosis.
Daul COMPERE* executed on August 7, 1974.
Muscadet CAJUSTE cell 8, former corporal in the Police Department,
died in 1976 of tuberculosis.
LIon CHERY cell 2, Cayes, an old man in his sixties, died on December
10, 1976 of physical weakness.
Gilbert CADOSTIN cell 2, chauffeur, died on October 2, 1976, of
Camille CEBASTIEN cell 1, Port-au-Prince, pharmacist, owner of the
Pharmacie de Lion, died in 1976 of lung congestion.
Jean Roland CELESTIN cell 1, Port-au-Prince, topographer, died in 1975
of typhoid and tuberculosis.
Paul DCONEUR cell 7, Port-au-Prince, artisan, died in 1976 of diarrhea.
Ambroise DESRAVINES cell 7, Port-au-Prince, artisan, died in 1976
Serge DE RUISSEAU cell 3, Arcahaie, student, died in 1976 of
Murat DARELUS cell 1, Pgtion-Ville, carpenter, died in February 1975.
Kernizan DUPONT National Penitentiary, M4yotte, Pktion-Ville, workman,
died in 1975 of liver disease.
Ronald DUCHEMIN* executed in March 1976.
Guelo DACCUEIL cell 3, Arcahaie, peasant, 48 years old, died in 1976
Horace DACCUEIL cell 7, Arcahaie, peasant, brother of Guelo, died in
1976 of diarrhea.
Fritz DUGASON cell 5, J6r6mie, mechanic, died on June 2, 1975 of
Philippe DULOR-ER cell 5, Cazal, died on December 18, 1975 of
Clothaire DORNEVAL cell 5, Arcahaie, died on January 24, 1976 of
Raphael DELVA cell 1, Gonaives, died in June 1976 of tuberculosis.
Jean-Claude DUVAL cell 9, worked at Alpha, died on December 5, 1975
of tuberculosis and physical weakness.
Ovbz DUQUESNE died in August 1976.
Thomas DOMINIQUE cell 6, Plaine du Cul de Sac, chauffeur, died in
July 1976 of tuberculosis.
Cadeau Jean DERISIE cell 1, Nan Bannanan, section chief, died in
July 1976 of tuberculosis.
Arche DENIS cell 2, Port-au-Prince, son of Lorimer Denis (co-author
with Franqois Duvalier of a number of books), former spy
who made his reports directly to Duvalier, arrested by
Luc D4sir after the death of Franqois Duvalier, died in
1976 of typhoid.
Venbque DUCALIRON National Penitentiary, died in 1973.
Serge DONATIEN cell 1, Artibonite, arrested in February 1975, 25
years old, died in March 1976 of diarrhea.
DATO cell 1, section chief of Thiotte, died in 1976.
Jacques DELILLE died in 1975.
Servilus EXANTUS cell 7, Cul de Sac, attorney, professor, released
in 1972, arrested again in January 1973, died in July 1976
Ponax EXANTUS cell 8, Arcahaie, student, died in 1975 of tuberculosis.
Rameau ESTIME cell 1, deputy, Duvalier supporter from the first, died
on May 13, 1976 of diarrhea and malnutrition.
Wilterm ESTIME cell 5, died in 1976.
Gesulm6 EUGENE cell 1, Plaine du Cul de Sac, teacher, released in
1972, arrested again in 1973, died in 1976 of tuberculosis.
EXANTE cell 2, Arcahaie, died in 1976.
Francis FIIS-AIME cell 1, Fort-Libert4, former 14opard, died in 1976
Pierre REQUIERE cell 2, Port-au-Prince (Delmas), workman, died in
1976 of tuberculosis.
Ren6 FRANEX* executed on August 7, 1974.
Marie-Therese FEVAL* executed in March 1976.
Rikitt FLORESTAL* executed on August 7, 1974.
Marcel GUERRIER cell 5, Plaine du Cul de Sac, died on October 6,
1975 of tuberculosis.
Marie Th&rese GASNER cell 10, died in 1976 of tuberculosis.
Pierre GUERRIER died in 1976.
Jean HORNER Duvalierville, coastguard, died in 1975.
Fritz ICARD cell 2, Miragoane, died on November 13, 1975 of mental
Gerard JOSEPH cell 7, known as Ibert Jn. Baptiste, Gonaives, arrested
on July 3, 1973, Place Ste. Anne, died in 1975 of tuber-
Dagobert JEAN cell 2, Hinche, former leopard, died in April 1976 of
Theocel JEAN died in April 1976 in the National Penitentiary.
Ricot JUNIOR died in August 1975 in the National Penitentiary.
Pierre JEAN* known as D'Haiti, executed in March 1976.
Maurice JEAN BAPTISTE cell 1, Jacmel, died on December 4, 1976 of
Samson JEAN-BAPTISTE* executed on August 7, 1974.
Antonio JEAN-BAPTISTE cell 3, Jeremie, typographer, worked in the
State Printing Office, died in 1976 of tuberculosis.
Lucio JULES cell 3, Jeremie, died on October 10, 1976 of typhoid.
Alius JOLIMO cell 3, Plaine du Cul de Sac, peasant, died in 1975 of
Vergnaut JOSEPH cell 6, attorney, and old man of 60 years of age,
died in 1976 of physical weakness.
Morency JEAN cell 3, Marchand, peasant, died in 1977 of tuberculosis.
Franck JASSIN cell 7, Port-au-Prince (Section Sou Dalle), teacher,
died in 1976 of tuberculosis.
Lession JOSEPH cell 6, Arcahaie, hogan (voodoo priest), died in
1975 of tuberculosis.
Saint-Vilus JEAN PIERRE cell 5, Plaine du Cul de Sac, peasant, died
on March 10 of infectious diarrhea and pulmonary tuber-
Antoine JEAN NOEL cell 3, Quanaminthe, died in February 1974 of
malaria and physical weakness.
Resius JEAN BAPTISTE cell 1, P4tion-Ville, died in February 1975,
constipated for 22 days.
Emmanuel JEAN POIS cell 1, Croix des Bouquets, shopkeeper, died in
1975 of tuberculosis.
Henri JEAN cell 4, Port-au-Prince, died in 1976 of tuberculosis.
Oswald JULES Verrettes, Assistant Government Commissioner, died
Chery LOUISSAINT cell 8, Arcahaie, student, died in 1976 of
Marcel LAFORET cell 8, JAr6mie, agronomist, living in St. Marc,
producer of "Niko", 'clairin' (local rum drink), died in
July 1975 of tuberculosis and mental illness.
Pierre LAURENT cell 8, Port-au-Prince, tailor, arrested after the
Gaillard affair, died in 1975 of tuberculosis.
Hubert LEGROS, cell 6, Por-au-Prince, died on December 19, 1975 at
5:00 a.m. of diarrhea and tuberculosis.
Loner LIVERT cell 5, Port-h-Piment, student, died on July 19, 1976
Rodrigue LAFORTUNE cell 5, Plaine du Cul de Sac, peasant, died on
November 18, 1975 of tuberculosis.
Ives MUZAC cell 1, Jacmel, student, died in June 1976 of tuberculosis.
Gerard MICHEL died in 1975.
MERCERON cell 7, known as Guantanamo, Port-au-Prince, sailor, died
in 1976 of tuberculosis.
MENELAS cell 8, known under the name of Ayisi, Plaine du Cul de Sac,
brought up in the Dominican Republic, former jailer in the
Great Prison, involved with Kesner Blain, died in 1976 of
Cheres Louis MAX cell 2, Plaine du Cul de Sac, peasant, died in
October 1975 of tuberculosis.
Louis NOEL cell 6, Quanaminthe, died in 1976 of a liver ailment.
Jean NAPOLEON Croix des Bouquets, died in December 1972.
Jean Marc NERESTAN cell 3, Port-h-Piment, tailor, died in 1976 of
Semonvil OSIAS cell 2, Cap-Haitien, attorney, died in June 1975.
Cambrone OBANO cell 8, Arcahaie, died in July 1976 of diarrhea.
Charles OCTA Arcahaie, died in 1975 of diarrhea.
Salma PIERRE-PAUL cell 3, St. Marc, lawyer, professor, died on
September 17 of tuberculosis.
PIPIRITE cell 3, Barradbre, died in 1976 of diarrhea.
Charles PIERRE* executed on August 7, 1974.
Darty PHILIPPE cell 3, Limbh, died in November 1973 of tuberculosis.
Oveny PAUL* executed on August 7, 1974.
Luc PIERRE-PAUL cell 2, Port-au-Prince, accountant working with an
English insurance company, died in July 1976, suffering
from mental illness.
Jacques PAUL cell 8, Port-au-Prince, son of Paulette Sicot, died in
1976 of tuberculosis.
Lubin PIERRE-LOUIS cell 5, Arcahaie, died on November 1, 1975 of
Edouard PIERRE arrested in 1974, died in 1975.
Eddy PRICE died in March 1976.
Des PREDESTANT* executed in August 1974.
Jean-Claude PHANOR cell 2,1 former lopard, died on May 3, 1976.
Ronald PERARD* executed in August 1974.
Bertrand RAYMOND cell 1, known as Ti Baron, Plaine du Cul de Sac,
professor, died in 1975 of tuberculosis.
Jean-Louis ROY* executed in March 1976.
Jean ROBERT cell 6, alias Derecul, Arcahaie, coastguard, died in
1976 of tuberculosis.
Timothy ROSSINI cell 6, mason, Arcahaie (Carrefour Pois), died in
1975 of diarrhea.
63-998 0 80 7
RAOUL cell 4, former detective, militia-man, died in 1976 of
ROMEL cell 7, died in 1975 of tuberculosis.
Annouce REBECCA cell 3, Cavaillon, former militia-man, died on
October 10, 1972 of tuberculosis.
REYNOLD companion of Dagobert Jean (former lopard), died in
Jilmiste SYLVESTRE cell shoemaker, Port-au-Prince, died on
November 1, 1976 of tuberculosis.
Thelismon SALADIN cell 1, La Tremblay, peasant, died on December
Raymond SAINT-LOUIS died on September 11, 1976 of tuberculosis.
John SOUFFRANT* executed on August 7, 1974.
Georges ST. MERZIER cell 4, JArimie, scrap merchant, died in 1976
Jean-Claude ST. LOUIS cell 7, Port-au-Prince, died on November 13,
1975 of tuberculosis.
Luc. ST. VIL cell 5, Fort-LibertA, former 14opard, died in
September 1976 of tuberculosis.
Gasner SIMEON cell 7, sailor en route to Nassau, ran aground at
Guantanamo, handed over to the Haitian government by an
American boat, died in 1976 of tuberculosis.
SANTIAGUE cell 7, Arcahaie, former sergeant, died in October 1976
Jacques ST. AMAND
Reynold TIMOLEON* executed on August 7, 1974.
Alix THOMAS' executed on August 7, 1974.
Clarel TERVIL* executed in March 1976.
TINTIN cell 9, Limb, died in 1971 of tuberculosis.
Thelismon TONY La Tremblay (Croix des Bouquets) arrested in 1969,
released in 1972, re-arrested in February 1973, died in
1976 of diarrhea.
Auguste THENOR cell 1, died in December 1974.
Edner THEAGENE died in 1975.
Jean Rifla VASSEAU* executed in March 1976.
Joseph VILFORT cell 3, Kenscoff, tinsmith, died in 1976 of tuber-
Theophile VICTOME cell 5, Cazale, died on January 2, 1975 of
Pierre Michel VITAL cell 6, Jirkmie, released then re-arrested, died
in February 1977 of tuberculosis.
Volmar VOLCY cell 6, died in July 1976.
Durena WASHINGTON cell 5, coastguard, died on October 19, 1974, of
Elie WELLINGTON cell son of Jamaica, well-known in Port-au-Prince,
died in October 1976 of tuberculosis and physical weakness.
It should be noted that most of the deaths, according to allega-
tions, occurred in 1975 and 1976. According to this information, the
principal cases of death were tuberculosis (71 cases) and diarrhea
(22), in addition to physical exhaustion, malnutrition and other ail-
ments generally related to the lack of satisfactory medical care.
The case of 17 individuals who, it is said, were executed in 1974
and 1976 is examined later in the present chapter.
It should be noted-that while it is true that more than half the
deaths occurring in jail took place, according to allegations, as recently
as 1976, the list contains only two deaths in 1977 and no reported case
In a note dated October 6, 1978, the government acknowledged that
a number of individuals had died in jail. The pertinent parts of the
text read as follows:
Within its means, the Haitian government has always provided
medical and other care to prisoners. Doubtless, some individuals
were unable to accustom themselves to the prison system, and a
number of deaths resulted from this, which is to be deplored'
Moreover, the individuals whose names appear on the list sent to
us are dangerous terrorists responsible for numerous acts of
vandalism; some of them died, weapons in hand, during alterca-
tions with the forces of order.
In a note of December 27, 1978, the Commission asked the govdrn-
ment for more specific information, notably for the names of indivi-
duals who had died in prison, and of those who "had died, weapons in
hand." To date, no response to this request has been forthcoming.
Nonetheless, during the Commission's visit, the government pro- /
vided it with a "list of requests for death certificates" on which 32
cases presented regarding prison deaths appeared. In response to the
Commission's request about the results of these "requests and judge-
ments," the government furnished declaratory judgments of death by
the civil courts of Port-au-Prince, but without indicating the cause
On December 7, 1979, the government of Haiti stated that an
absence of information on many of the names in government records
suggests that "many names may have been fictitious."