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HEARING ,,,, ,
SUBCOMMITTEE-6N N': '
IMMIGRATION, REFUGEES, AND INTEIkXTIONAL LAW
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MAY 9, 1984
Serial No. 64
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
36-4830 WASHINGTON : 1984
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
PETER W. RODINO, JR., New Jersey, Chairman
JACK BROOKS, Texas HAMILTON FISH, JR., New York
ROBERT W. KASTENMEIER, Wisconsin CARLOS J. MOORHEAD, California
DON EDWARDS, California HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
JOHN CONYERS, JR., Michigan THOMAS N. KINDNESS, Ohio
JOHN F. SEIBERLING, Ohio HAROLD S. SAWYER, Michigan
ROMANO L. MAZZOLI, Kentucky DAN LUNGREN, California
WILLIAM J. HUGHES, New Jersey F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR.,
SAM B. HALL, JR., Texas Wisconsin
MIKE SYNAR, Oklahoma BILL McCOLLUM, Florida
PATRICIA SCHROEDER, Colorado E. CLAY SHAW, JR., Florida
DAN GLICKMAN, Kansas GEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts MICHAEL DEWINE, Ohio
GEO. W. CROCKETT, JR., Michigan
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
BRUCE A. MORRISON, Connecticut
EDWARD F. FEIGHAN, Ohio
LAWRENCE J. SMITH, Florida
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
FREDERICK C. BOUCHER, Virginia
ALAN A. PARKER, General Counsel
GARNER J. CLINE, Staff Director
ALAN F. COFFEY, Jr., Associate Counsel
SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION, REFUGEES, AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
ROMANO L. MAZZOLI, Kentucky, Chairman
SAM B. HALL, JR., Texas DAN LUNGREN, California
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts BILL McCOLLUM, Florida
GEO. W. CROCKETT, JR., Michigan HAMILTON FISH, JR., New York
LAWRENCE J. SMITH, Florida
ARTHUR P. ENDRES, Jr., Counsel
EUGENE PUGLIESE, Assistant Counsel
LYNN R. CONWAY, Assistant Counsel
PETER REGIS, Legislative Assistant
PETER J. LEVINSON, Associate Counsel
TEXT OF BILL
H .R 4853............................................................................................................................ 3
Audige, Jerome, executive director, New Jersey Haitian/American Cultural
F foundation .................................................................................................................... 128
Prepared state ent ................................................................................................. 143
Bevilacqua, Bishop Anthony, chairman, Committee on Migration, National
Conference of Catholic Bishops ................................................................................. 46
Prepared state ent ................................................................................................. 48
Hill, Norman, president, A Philip Randolph Institute....................................... 67
Hooper, Michael S., executive director, National Coalition for Haitian Refu-
g ees ................................................................................................................................. 67
Prepared state ent ................................................................................................. 85
Kurzban, Ira, general counsel, Haitian Refugee Center ....................................... 128
Prepared state ent ................................................................................................. 131
Mazur, Jay, secretary-treasurer, International Ladies Garment Workers
U n ion .............................................................................................................................. 67
P prepared state ent ................................................................................................. 78
Michel, James H., Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Inter-American
A affairs, Departm ent of State ..................................................................................... 7
P prepared state ent ................................................................................................. 20
Nelson, Alan C., Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service.......... 7
P prepared state ent ................................................................................................. 12
Padron, Eduardo, cochairman, Greater Miami United .......................................... 67
Prepared state ent ................................................................................................. 122
Payne, Donald, councilman, Newark Municipal Council, on behalf of the
N national Council of Churches.................................................................................... 46
Tanenbaum, Rabbi Marc H., director, international relations, American
Jew ish Com m ittee...................................................................................................... 46
Prepared state ent ............................................................................................... 63
Letters to Hon. Peter W. Rodino, Jr.:
de Haan, Dale S., chairman, Committee on Migration and Refugee Af-
fairs, M arch 20, 1984.................................................................. ....................... 150
Hooks, Benjamin L., chairman, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights,
M arch 27, 1984 ................................................................................................... 153
Hooks, Benjamin L., executive director, NAACP, February 17, 1984 ......... 151
Hoye, Rev. Msgr. Daniel F., general secretary, United States Catholic
Conference, February 22, 1984........................................................................ 149
Kirkland, Lane, president, AFL-CIO ...................................................................
Leiden, Warren, executive director, American Immigration Lawyers Asso-
ciation, M arch 3, 1984....................................................................................... 155
Rustin, Bayard, vice chairman, National Coalition for Haitian Refugees,
F ebruary 15, 1984 ................................................................................................ 153
Tanenbaum, Rabbi Marc H., director, International Relations, the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee, March 5, 1984............................................................ 149
Letters to Hon. Peter W. Rodino, Jr.-Continued
Torres, Arnold S., National Executive Director, League of United Latin
Am erican Citizens, February 28, 1984........................................................... 151
Walter, Ingrid, Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., March 1, 1984.................. 155
Yzaguirre, Raul, president, National Council of La Raza, February 28,
1984 ....................................................................... .................... ........................ 15 1
APPENDIX 2.-STATE DEPARTMENT'S EFFORT REGARDING EXCLUDABLE CUBANS
Michel, James H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs,
Department of State, June 18, 1984, to Hon. Romano L. Mazzoli................... 156
APPENDIX 3.-STATE DEPARTMENT'S RESPONSES TO SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
Michel, James H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs,
Department of State, June 1, 1984, to Hon. Peter W. Rodino, Jr.................... 159
APPENDIX 4.-ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS
Craige Tito, director, Cuban/Haitian Entrant Program, Farmworker English
Language School, Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Association, Inc.,
M ay 22, 1984.................................................................................................................. 161
Gomez, Manuel R., president, Cuban-American Committee, May 17, 1984.......... 167
Fauntroy, Hon. Walter E., chairman, Congressional Black Caucus, Task Force
on Haitian Refugees, prepared statement............................................................ 163
McCarthy, Rev. Edward A., Archbishop of Miami, May 3, 1984 ......................... 162
Statement of Greater M iam i United.......................................... ............................ 166
APPENDIX 5.-SUPPLMENTAL QUESTIONS
Michael S. Hooper's responses to supplemental questions................................... 170
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 1984
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION, REFUGEES,
AND INTERNATIONAL LAW,
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 8 a.m., in room 2226,
Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Romano L. Mazzoli (chair-
man of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Mazzoli, Hall, Frank, Crockett, Smith,
Lungren, McCollum, and Fish.
Also present: Representative Rodino.
Staff present: Arthur P. Endres, Jr., counsel; Lynn Conway, as-
sistant counsel; Eugene Pugliese, assistant counsel; Peter Regis,
legislative assistant; and Peter J. Levinson, associate counsel.
Mr. MAZZOLI. The subcommittee will come to order.
The gentleman from Texas is recognized for a motion.
Mr. HALL. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the sub-
committee permit coverage of this hearing in whole or in part by
television broadcast, radio broadcast, or still photography in ac-
cordance with committee rule 5.
Mr. MAZZOLI. Is there any objection? The Chair hearing none,
the gentleman's unanimous consent request is agreed to.
I have a short opening statement, but let me first apologize to
my panelists, as well as all the witnesses who are with us now and
will join us, for this early hour. Since the time we had originally
announced the hearings, the Democratic caucus was called at 9:30
this morning which will take up some very important business and
many of us want to be there, so we will try to get our hearings dis-
posed of. I appreciate everybody's cooperation.
On behalf of the subcommittee, I welcome all of our panelists
here this morning. Today we will receive testimony from various
panels on H.R. 4853, a bill introduced by Representative Peter
Rodino, our chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which would
grant permanent residence status to Cubans and Haitians who en-
tered our country seeking asylum in the early 1980's.
We have many witnesses here today who will attest to the fact
that these people suffered much to reach the shores of our country.
They were welcomed to our country and given a new immigration
status, that of Cuban/Haitian entrants, status pending. Their
status has been pending since 1981.
My subcommittee recognized the equities of this situation 2 years
ago and included a provision regularizing the status of some of
these Cuban/Haitian entrants in the bill, H.R. 1510, the Immigra-
tion Reform and Control Act.
While H.R. 1510 remains, I think and believe, the preferred ap-
proach to solving this problem through a single broad reform meas-
ure, I am a cosponsor of the bill before us today, 4853, as a safety
valve measure in the event the reform bill continues to be on hold.
Chairman Rodino will join us later on this morning. Does anyone
on the subcommittee have an opening statement?
If not, we will then recognize our first panel of witnesses: Mr.
Alan Nelson, Commissioner of the Immigration Service; and Mr.
John H. Michel, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Inter-
American Affairs of the Department of State.
[A copy of H.R. 4853 follows:]
98TH CONGRESS A0
2D SESSION H.* .4853
To authorize the creation of a record of admission for permanent residence in the
cases of certain natives of Cuba and Haiti, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
FEBRUARY 9, 1984
Mr. RODINO introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary
To authorize the creation of a record of admission for permanent
residence in the cases of certain natives of Cuba and Haiti,
and for other purposes.
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 That (a) the status of any alien described in subsection (b)
4 may be adjusted by the Attorney General, in the Attorney
5 General's discretion and under such regulations as the Attor-
6 ney General may prescribe, to that of an alien lawfully ad-
7 mitted for permanent residence if-
8 (1) the alien makes application for such adjust-
9 ment within two years after the date of the enactment
10 of this section;
1 (2) the alien is otherwise eligible to receive an im-
2 migrant visa and is otherwise admissible to the United
3 States for permanent residence, except in determining
4 such admissibility the grounds for exclusion specified in
5 paragraphs (14), (15), (20), (21), (25), and (32) of sec-
6 tion 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8
7 U.S.C. 1182(a)) shall not apply;
8 (3) the alien is not an alien described in section
9 243(h)(2) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1253(h)(2)); and
10 (4) the alien is physically present in the United
11 States on the date the application for such adjustment
12 is filed.
13 (b) The benefits provided by subsection (a) shall apply to
14 any alien (other than an alien described in subsection (c))-
15 (1) who has received an immigration designation
16 as a Cuban/Haitian entrant (status pending), or
17 (2) who is a national of Cuba or Haiti, arrived in
18 the United States before January 1, 1982, and with
19 respect to whom any record was established by the
20 Immigration and Naturalization Service before January
21 1, 1982.
22 (c) The benefits provided by subsection (a) shall not
23 apply to an alien who was admitted to the United States as a
24 nonimmigrant, unless the alien filed an application for asylum
HR 4853 IH
1 with the Immigration and Naturalization Service before Jan-
2 uary 1, 1982.
3 (d) Aliens granted permanent resident status under this
4 Act shall be considered to be granted the special status re-
5 ferred to in section 501(d)(1) of Public Law 96-422.
6 (e) Upon approval of an alien's application for adjust-
7 ment of status under subsectiorn (a), the Attorney General
8 shall establish a record of the alien's admission for permanent
9 residence as of January 1, 1982.
10 (f) When an alien is granted the status of having been
11 lawfully admitted for permanent residence pursuant to this
12 section, the Secretary of State shall not be required to reduce
13 the number of immigrant visas authorized to be issued under
14 the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Attorney Gen-
15 eral shall not be required to charge the alien any fee.
16 (g) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this sec-
17 tion, the definitions contained in the Immigration and Nation-
18 ality Act shall apply in the administration of this section.
19 Nothing contained in this section shall be held to repeal,
20 amend, alter, modify, effect, or restrict the powers, duties,
21 functions, or authority of the Attorney General in the admin-
22 istration and enforcement of the Immigration and Nationality
23 Act or any other law relating to immigration, nationality, or
24 naturalization. The fact that an alien may be eligible to be
25 granted the status of having been lawfully admitted for per-
HR 4853 IH
1 manent residence under this section shall not preclude the
2 alien from seeking such status under any other provision of
3 law for which the alien may be eligible.
4 SEC. 2. Consular officers shall provide for the issuance
5 of immigrant visas to aliens who are nationals, citizens, sub-
6 jects, or residents of Cuba and who have qualified for issu-
7 ance of the visas under section 203 of the Immigration and
8 Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153) without regard to section
9 243(g) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1253(g)).
HR 4853 IH
Mr. MAZZOL. Because of the real time constraints we have today,
I have asked each of our witnesses to limit their statement to 5
minutes and then we will have plenty of time for questions.
Mr. Nelson, you may proceed.
TESTIMONY OF ALAN C. NELSON, COMMISSIONER, IMMIGRATION
AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, AND JAMES H. MICHEL,
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, BUREAU OF INTER-AMERI-
CAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. NELSON. Thank you. It is a pleasure to be before you and the
committee at this early hour, but we are pleased to get off to a
We have submitted our written testimony on this matter--
Mr. MAZZOU. Which will be made a part of the record.
Mr. NELSON. And would like that if the committee would so
order. Also, I make reference to the letter to Chairman Rodino
from the Department of Justice of May 8, which parallels our testi-
mony; we would like that to be part of the record also.
Mr. MAzzou. Without objection.
[The letter referred to follows:]
.- U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
Office of the Assistant Attorney General Wahington. D.C 20530
8 MAY 1984
Honorable Peter W. Rodino, Jr.
Committee on the Judiciary
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
This letter is in response to your request for the views of the Department
of Justice on H.R. 4853, a bill to authorize the creation of a record of
admission for permanent residence in the cases of certain natives of Cuba
and Haiti, and for other purposes. The Department of Justice recommends
consideration of this legislation, if amended as noted below, only if H.R.
1510 is not enacted in this session of Congress.
The Department of Justice, as has been stated to the Committee on previous
occasions, prefers the provisions contained in H.R. 1510 regarding an
adjustment of status of these particular individuals. We have consis-
tently favored the sane treatment for Cuban/Haitian Entrants with regard
to adjustment of status and concur with the approach in S. 529 which
establishes more recent legalization dates for this group from that of
other illegal aliens because of the circumstances and period of their
arrival in the United States. As you will recall, the Administration's
immigration reform proposals submitted in 1981 addressed this issue in a
We believe strongly that immigration reform and relief for illegal alien
groups should not be done piecemeal. We endorse the trend away from
nationality specific determinations by the Legislative Branch. This
legislation would run counter to efforts to apply immigration statutes
evenly without regard for nationality or country of origin. The
Simpson/Mazzoli bill is the appropriate vehicle for dealing with the
Cuban/Haitian group as well as with other manifestations of illegal
immigration. Until the outcome of the House's consideration of the bill
is established, we believe it is premature to take a position on H.R.
4853. If Simpson/Mazzoli is unsuccessful, H.R. 4853 might be in order.
The bill would allow those nationals of Cuba or Haiti, corrmonly designated
as Cuban/Haitian Entrants (status pending), to have their status adjusted,
at the discretion of the Attorney General, to that of an alien lawfully
admitted for permanent residence, under the conditions stated in the bill.
However, the bill does not repeal P.L. 89-732, as amended (the Cuban
Adjustment Act of 1966), and, indeed, specifically provides that the fact
that an alien may be eligible to be granted lawful permanent residence
status under the instant legislation shall not preclude such alien from
seeking such status under any law. We believe that nationals of Cuba who
are able to adjust will choose to apply for adjustment under the pro-
visions of P.L. 89-732. The provisions of that Act are more beneficial
than the instant legislation; for example, an earlier record of the
alien's admission for permanent residence would be made; the spouse and
child may be adjusted, and the benefits of that Act do apply to an alien
admitted as a nonimmigrant, where the instant legislation (section l(c))
specifically exempts such aliens. Therefore, Cubans and Haitians would
continue to have somewhat different treatment under the two provisions of
We would also like to raise two technical concerns with the language of
H.R. 4853. One concern revolves around the wording of subsection (b)
(2) of section 1 of.H.R. 4853. This section provides permanent residence
for an alien who "is a national of Cuba or Haiti, arrived in the United
States before January 1, 1982, and with respect to whom any record was
established by the Immigration and Naturalization Service before January
1, 1982." It is our feeling that the term "any record" is ambiguous, and
the subconmittee's clear intention as to what is to be interpreted as a
"record" should be included in the proposal.
We also direct the Committee's attention to subsection (d) of the first
section. This provision states that aliens granted permanent residence
under this section shall be considered to be granted the special status
referred to in section 501(d) (1) of Public Law 96-422, which we assume was
intended to be a reference to section 501(e) (1) of the Refugee Education
Assistance Act. The intended effect of granting the status to a permanent
resident is unclear, and we urge that the provision be redrafted to state
explicitly the result to be achieved so that it may receive careful con-
The Department of Justice also has some concern about Section 2 of the
proposed legislation. While we defer to the Department of State on this
issue, the Committee should be aware that the Attorney General has noti-
fied the Secretary of State, pursuant to Section 243 (g) of the INA, that
Cuba has denied and unduly delayed acceptance of the return of its na-
tionals. This is an issue between the Government of the United States and
the Government of Cuba in the matter of the.return of certain Cuban
nationals who have been found excludable.
The Office of Management and Budget has advised that there is no objection
to the submission of this report from the standpoint of the Administra-
Rober A. Connell ---
Assistant Attorney General
Mr. NELSON. I think the administration's position has been clear,
Mr. Chairman, that the concept embodied in this bill of a parity-
type treatment for Cuban and Haitian entrants during this particu-
lar timeframe is desirable. We have supported that; clearly, the
Administration has supported that concept in the position of the
Reagan Task Force which was set up after the President came into
office. It was a provision of the initial Reagan bill that there should
be some special treatment of these two groups because of the
unique circumstances. All along we have supported the Simpson/
Mazzoli versions of the bill at various stages through the Senate
and the House; there is justification for it.
So, I don't think there should be any doubt on the record or in
the public that the Administration has favored a concept of equal
treatment, even though it raises some differences with other illegal
But also, in balance, as we indicate, it is very, very important,
and I think goes back to this House's action on the Refugee Act,
among other things, that there not be a piecemeal approach to im-
migration issues. There is danger in that approach.
Therefore, as you have indicated in your opening remarks, Mr.
Chairman, the clearly preferable response to this issue and this bill
before us is not a separate piece of legislation such as H.R. 4853,
but, in fact, the passage of the immigration reform legislation that
is so close in this House. We just hope that the delays are over, and
that we can get it to the floor and pass it. This is the answer. It is,
therefore, premature to take a position-the administration will
not take a formal position on H.R. 4853 at this time, because we
feel that the answer is in Simpson-Mazzoli. That will resolve the
issue; we should go forward.
Therefore, we think it would clearly be a mistake to push sepa-
rately, at least at this time, this bill, but the concepts are certainly
In our testimony, Mr. Chairman, we have raised several techni-
cal and policy types of issues that are worthy of pointing out. One
thing is that this bill, H.R. 4853, does not repeal the Cuban Adjust-
ment Act. We think that is something that has to be dealt with.
We can't keep leaving this on the books for the future. We need to
resolve it, hopefully with comprehensive reform legislation, repeal
is something that clearly needs to be addressed.
There is some language in the bill containing the words "any
record," regarding the arrival. It is confusing and ambiguous; there
certainly needs to be clarification. There are some concerns about
the application of assistance to this group, and we think, again,
there are some unclear provisions in the bill. At least, it ought to
be very explicit as to whether the entitlement program will apply.
One other point that is not in our testimony, but which I think is
important to raise at this time, and again, I will put it on a techni-
cal basis because I think we have explained that our basic position
on the bill is that it is premature at this time-the January 1, 1982
date. As you recall, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, the
President of the United States, in the summer of 1981, announced
that we would vigorously enforce our immigration laws and par-
ticularly the statute that required detention of illegal aliens. That
did commence in the summer of 1981, followed in the early fall by
the interdiction program. I think everybody has been well aware
that this has been a very successful application of our immigration
laws. So, therefore, to talk about a January 1982 date we think is a
mistake. We really ought to be thinking, if we are getting into
dates, of a June or July 1981 date, a date consistent with the Presi-
dent's policy. To do otherwise, would be somewhat undercutting
the Administration position, the legislative position in the law, and
the judicial position that has upheld very clearly the actions of the
administration in that regard.
Mr. Michel will testify on the section 2 issues. There are certain-
ly some foreign policy, executive, legislative branch issues there,
and we certainly would join in with the State Department's posi-
If I might-one last item, Mr. Chairman, again, that isn't in the
testimony but Which I think is worthy to bring up before the com-
mittee at this time. I will be brief; we know that we are followed
today by a number of people, many of whom I know and respect, of
interest groups and church groups, that will be testifying on this
bill. I have not seen any of their testimony and I would hope what
I am saying is wrong, but the likelihood is that there will be many
people testifying, repeating allegations of discrimination by this ad-
ministration regarding racial bias because they are black, the over-
all problems that are asserted in this program that I alluded to.
I think, again, the record should be very clear, Mr. Chairman. I
noted a minute ago, this action was taken beginning in the
summer of 1981 by the President and by the Attorney General. We
complied with the statutory language that Congress passed in the
immigration laws despite a lot of court battles over the last few
years that I have been involved with, and Mr. Kurzban, who will
testify later and others here have been involved with.
The trial before Judge Spellman several years ago clearly showed
on the trial basis, after the evidence was heard, that there was no
discrimination. Unfortunately, people made so many accusations
for such a long period of time that that sort of became the factual
foundation for media and others. That issue continues to be raised
by many, but if you look at the record, the court held there was no
discrimination by the government.
We know now, of course, that the Court of Appeals and the full
11th Circuit decision has fully ratified the legal posture of this ad-
ministration. So, I can say as a matter of fact, there has not been
discrimination against the Haitians as a matter of legislative
policy. We have carried out the law that Congress has enacted. As
a matter of good public policy, it has been done well, effectively
and fairly and as a matter of judicial determination, it has been
So I would hope that my colleagues whom I respect who will tes-
tify to these issues, would keep that in mind. I would hope that we
would not get these kinds of rancorous and completely inaccurate
comments that have characterized this debate more than they
I think we all favor the equitable treatment here and I hope we
[The prepared statement of Mr. Nelson follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ALAN C. NELSON, COMMISSIONER, IMMIGRATION AND
Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee:
I am pleased to be here today to offer the views of the Department of
Justice on H.R. 4853.
The bill proposes to authorize the creation of a record of admission for
permanent residence in the cases of certain nationals of Cuba and Haiti.
The Department of Justice strongly believes that immigration reform and
relief for specific groups of illegal entrants should not be accomplished
in a piecemeal fashion. We endorse the trend that this subcommittee and
Congress as a whole have followed away from nationality-specific
legislation. This Administration holds, as I believe you do, that our
immigration statutes must be applied evenly without regard to nationality
or country of origin. For these reasons, while we support the intent of
H.R. 4853 to provide residence for Cuban and Haitian nationals, we
continue to take the position that the preferable response rests with
enactment of the immigration reform legislation currently being considered
by Congress. Until the outcome of the House's consideration of such
legislation is established, we believe it is premature to take a position
on H.R. 4853.
This Administration has consistently supported the concept of comparable
relief for Cuban and Haitian nationals who entered the country illegally
and were given the administrative designation, Cuban-Haitian entrants. The
Administration's immigration reform bill introduced in 1981 contained
provisions for the legalization of these Cuban Haitian entrants. We have
continued to support similar provisions for legalization contained in the
reform legislation now before Congress.
I would also like to raise several technical concerns with the language of
H.R. 4853. The Department of Justice takes the position that the
nationals of Cuba who would be covered by the provisions of this bill are
also potentially eligible for the provisions of Public Law 89-732, the
Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act of 1966. H.R. 4853 does sot repeal P.L.
89-732, and therefore would afford nationals of Cuba an opportunity to
choose between the two pieces of legislation. We believe nationals of
Cuba would choose adjustment under the provisions of P.L. 89-732 as those
provisions are more beneficial in terms of effective date of permanent
residence. To implement H.R. 4853 without the repeal of P.L. 89-732 would
treat nationals of Cuba differently than nationals of Haiti.
Another concern revolves around the wording of subsection (b) (2) of
section 1 of H.R. 4853. This section provides permanent residence for an
alien who "is a national of Cuba or Haiti, arrived in the United States
before January 1,1982, and with respect to whom any record was established
by the Immigration and Naturalization Service before January 1, 1982." It
is our feeling that the term "any record" is ambiguous, and the sub-
committee's clear intention as to what is to be interpreted as a "record"
should be included in the proposal.
We also direct the Committee's attention to subsection (d) of the first
section. This provision states that aliens granted permanent residence
under this section shall be considered to be granted the special status
referred to in section 501 (d) (1) of Public Law 96-422, which we assume was
intended to be a reference to section 501(e) (1) of the Refugee Education
Assistance Act. The intended effect of granting that status to a
permanent resident is unclear, and we urge that the provision be redrafted
to state explicitly the result to be achieved so that it may receive
The Department of Justice also has some concern about section 2 of the
proposed legislation. While we defer to the Department of State on this
issue generally, the Committee should also be aware that the Attorney
General has notified the Secretary of State, pursuant to section 243 (g)
of the INA, that Cuba has denied and unduly delayed acceptance of the
return of its nationals. This is an issue between the Government of the
United States and the Government of Cuba in the matter of the return of
certain Cuban nationals who have been found excludable.
This completes my prepared testimony. I would be glad to respond to any
questions which you may have.
36-483 0 84 2
Mr. MAzzou. The gentleman's time is expired. I have to share
Commissioner Nelson's disappointment. I have read some of the
statements which will succeed yours and I am disappointed in their
tenor, content and tone. I don't think they add much to the oppor-
tunities we have to pass a piece of legislation. I think they dredge
up a lot of very difficult situations and I think they don't really
add to the opportunity we have of doing anything.
So for those whose statements contain that kind of reference, to
the extent they could excise those references, at least in their
verbal presentation, that, I think, would add a lot to the opportuni-
ties that we have to proceed with our bill.
Mr. Michel, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. MICHEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, too, have a prepared
statement and the Department of State has submitted a letter to
the committee and would ask that those be-
Mr. MAzzou. Which is made a part of the record.
[The letter referred to follows:]
United States Department of State
W R'. Washington, D.C. 20520
MAY 7 1984
Dear Mr. Chairman:
The Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent letter
enclosing for the Department's study and report a copy of H.R.
4853, "A bill to authorize the creation of a record of admission
for permanent residence in the cases of certain natives of Cuba
and Haiti, and for other purposes."
Section 1(a) of the bill would authorize the Attorney General
to grant adjustment of status to permanent resident to an alien
described in section 1(b) of the bill if the alien applied for ad-
justment of status within two years following enactment of the
bill and was in the United States at the time of filing the appli-
cation for adjustment of status. In addition, the alien would
have to establish his admissibility for permanent residence; ex-
cept that in determining such admissibility the provisions relat-
ing to labor certification, public charge, immigrant visa and
passport documentation, illiteracy and the exclusion of certain
foreign medical graduates would not apply. Finally, an otherwise
eligible beneficiary could not benefit from this provision if he
were determined to be an alien (1) who ordered, incited, assisted,
or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on
account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular
social group, or political opinion; (2) who constitutes a danger\
to the community of the United States because of a conviction of a
particularly serious crime; (3) who there are serious reasons for
believing has committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the
United States prior to arrival in the United States; or (4) whom
there are reasonable grounds for regarding as a danger to the
security of the United States.
Section 1(b) defines the beneficiary class as (1) any alien
who has received an immigration designation as a Cuban/Haitian
entrant (status pending), or (2) any other national of Cuba or
Peter W. Rodino, Jr., Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives. ,73
Haiti who arrived in the United States before January 1, 1982, and
for whom any record was established by the Immigration and
Naturalization Service before that date.
Section l(c) of the bill would deny the benefits of section
l(a) of the bill to an alien who otherwise qualified as a member
of the beneficiary class if the alien was inspected and admitted
as a nonimmigrant alien unless the alien filed an application for
asylum prior to January 1, 1982.
Section l(d) would provide that aliens granted permanent resi-
dence under the provisions of the bill would nonetheless retain
the special status provided for them in section 501(d)(1) of
Public Law 96-422.
Section 1(e) of the bill would direct the Attorney General to
record the admission for permanent residence of any alien granted
permanent residence pursuant to section l(a) of the bill as of
January 1, 1982. This provision would expedite the eligibility
for naturalization of such aliens by fixing their date of ad-
mission at a time which could be more than four years in the past
by the time the statutory period for seeking the benefits of
section l(a) had run.
Section l(f) would exempt grants of adjustment of status under
section l(a) of the bill from the numerical limitations on immi-
Section 1(g) of the bill would make the standard references to
the applicability of the provisions of the Immigration and
Nationality Act and would specify that a member of the beneficiary
class of this bill also remains entitled to acquire permanent
residence under any other provision of law pursuant to which he
might qualify for such status.
Many of these provisions are substantially identical with the
provisions of S. 529 or H.R. 1510 for granting a retroactive date
of admission for permanent residence. The Department of State
strongly believes that immigration reform and relief for specific
groups of illegal entrants should not be accomplished in a piece-
meal fashion. Instead, such measures must be carried out even-
handedly without regard to nationality or country of origin. For
these reasons, while we have no objection to the intent of section
1 of H.R. 4853 to provide residence for Cuban and Haitian
nationals, we take the position that the preferable response rests
with enactment of immigration reform legislation currently being
considered by the Congress. In addition, the Department has
reservations about the retroactive aspect of section 1 of the
bill, but will defer to the comments of the Department of Justice
with respect thereto.
Section 2 of the bill would direct consular officers stationed
at the United States Interests Section (USINT) at Havana, Cuba, to
process immigrant visa applications pending at that office not-
withstanding the provisions of section 243(g) of the Act. As you
are aware, the Attorney General has notified the Secretary of
State pursuant to section 243(g) of the Act that Cuba has denied
or unduly delayed acceptance of the return of aliens who are
nationals, citizens, subjects or residents of Cuba. As provided
for by section 243(g), the Department has directed consular
officers at USINT Havana to cease processing immigrant visa appli-
cations, except those which have been exempted from this prohibi-
tion by regulations of the Immigration and Naturalization Service
(i.e., applications of immediate relatives as defined in section
201(b) of the Act and of returning resident immigrants as defined
in section 101(a)(27)(A) of the Act).
Section 2 of the bill would have the effect of nullifying sec-
tion 243(g) of the Act insofar as it relates to Cuba. As the
Department interprets section 2, it would afford no special
benefits to the aliens concerned but would rather direct only that
their applications be processed in accordance with world-wide re-
quirements and procedures which would apply absent the Attorney
The Department strongly opposes enactment of section 2 of the
bill. As you know, the United States last summer proposed to the
Government of Cuba the expeditious return to that country of those
Mariel Cubans who are excludable from the United States for sub-
stantive reasons. This initiative is being actively pursued with
Cuba and enactment of section 2 of the bill would have a most
detrimental effect by removing an important element in the nego-
tiating process. It is the Department's judgment that enactment
of this provision could eliminate any possibility for reaching an
acceptable agreement with Cuba on this matter. Accordingly, the
Department urges that section 2 of the bill not be enacted.
The Office of Management and Budget advises that from the
standpoint of the Administration's program there is no objection
to the submission of this report.
W. Tapley Bennett, r.
Assistant Secreta y
Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
Mr. MICHEL. Thank you, sir.
I would first of all just confirm that the Department of State, of
course, shares the views of the Department of Justice as to the ad-
ministration's position on section 1 of the bill and I would like to
confine my testimony to section 2.
In that regard, we do strongly oppose the enactment of that sec-
tion. Existing law, section 243(g) of the Immigration and National-
ity Act, requires that we stop issuing visas in a country where the
Attorney General has informed the Secretary of State that the gov-
ernment of that country has refused to accept the return of its na-
tionals or residents. We believe that the exodus of Cubans from
Mariel in 1980 represents the most egregious case in which a for-
eign government expelled its citizens without their consent, with-
out our consent, without regard to our laws or international law
and has subsequently refused to accept their return.
It seems anomalous that this bill would leave section 243(g) on
the books as the general policy and then make an exception to that
policy for this most egregious case in our history.
Second, we are concerned because we have raised this subject
with the Government of Cuba on several occasions, initially in the
end of 1980, beginning of 1981, with a view to seeking the return to
Cuba of those inadmissible aliens who were included among the
more than 100,000 Cubans who migrated to the United States in
the Mariel boatlift.
Now, I would emphasize, for the record, Mr. Chairman, that the
vast majority of the individuals who have arrived in the United
States as a result of Mariel have made a positive contribution to
our society. But there is a small number of people who have im-
posed a great burden on our society. These are people who are
known criminals, people who have committed criminal acts in the
United States and people who are institutionalized, requiring sub-
stantial costs for their care.
The Government of Cuba has received a benefit by not incurring
those social and economic costs. The Government of Cuba would re-
ceive a further benefit if this bill were enacted into law that the
Government of Cuba, through the normal resumption of visa issu-
ance by the United States in Cuba, would collect the substantial
exit fees that it charges individuals who wish to leave that country.
We think that the matter of the return of the small number of
excludables remains a subject for discussion, that the economic
benefit of the visa issuance, normal visa issuance, is an issue to be
held for those discussions.
We cannot say that the discussions will succeed. I think we can
predict accurately that if we were unilaterally to make this conces-
sion to Cuba by legislation, there would be no prospect for negotia-
tions on the return of the Mariel excludables.
Mr. Chairman, I would not want in public testimony to discuss
the steps that have been taken since May of last year when we pre-
sented a note to Cuba asking it to accept the return of some of the
Marielitos. I have, however, had prepared a classified written sum-
mary of events since that date on this subject, which I would be
happy to make available for the committee's consideration on a
Mr. MAZZOLI. We appreciate that offer and we will take you up
on it in some secure way if you could get that to our staff members,
it would help.
Mr. MICHEL. I would be happy to do that, sir.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Michel follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JAMES H. MICHEL, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, BUREAU OF
INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
MR. CHAIRMAN, IT IS A PLEASURE TO ACCEPT YOUR INVITATION TO
PRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ST JTE ON h.R. 4853. "A BILL
TO AUTHORIZE THE CREATION OF A RECORD OF ADMISSION FOR PERMANENT
RESIDENCE IN THE CASES OF CERTAIN NATIVES OF CUBA AND hAITI, AND
FOR OTHER PURPOSES."
YOU WILL ALREADY HAVE RECEIVED FROM ASSISTANT SECRETARY W.
IAPLEY bENNETT A REPORT OF THE POSITION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
ON BOTH SECTIONS OF THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION. IF 1 MAY BE
PERMITTED TO SUM UP THE SENSE OF THAT REPORT, IT WAS TO INFORM THE
COMMITTEE THAT IN OUR VIEW THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF H.R. 4853
ARE SUBSTANTIALLY IDENTICAL TO PROVISIONS OF IMMIGRATION REFORM
LEGISLATION CURRENTLY BEING CONSIDERED BY THE CONGRESS INSOFAR AS
THEY RELATE TO hAITIANS AND CUBANS, EXCEPT THAT h.R. 4853 CONTAINS
AN ADDITIONAL PROVISION GRANTING A RETROACTIVE DATE OF
ADMISSION--JANUARY 1, 1&82--FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE. lHE
DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS RESERVATIONS ABOUT THE RETROACTIVE ASPECT
OF SECTION 1 OF h.R. 4853. ALTHOUGH RETROACTIVE DATES OF ADMISSION
HAVE BEEN APPROVED IN CERTAIN PAST INSTANCES. IN THIS CASE THE
RETROACTIVE ADMISSION WOULD BE AVAILABLE ONLY TO THE hAITIANS AND
CUBANS BUT NOT TO ANY OF THE OTHER NATIONALITIES WHICH WOULD BE
LEGALIZED UNDER PENDING IMMIGRANT REFORM LEGISLATION. THE
DEPARTMENT OF STATE BELIEVES THAT IMMIGRATION REFORM AND RELIEF FOR
SPECIFIC GROUPS OF ILLEGAL ENTRANTS SHOULD NOT BE ACCOMPLISHED IN
PIECEMEAL FAShION. INSTEAD, SUCH IMMIGRATION STATUTES MUST BE
APPLIED EVENLY. WITHOUT REGARD TO NATIONALITY OR COUNTRY OF
ORIGIN. FOR THESE REASONS. WHILE WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THE
INTENT OF h.R. 4853 TO PROVIDE RESIDENCE FOR CUBAN AND HAITIAN
NATIONALS. WE TAKE THE POSITION THAT THE PREFERABLE RESPONSE RESTS
WITH ENACTMENT OF IMMIGRATION REFORM LEGISLATION CURRENTLY BEING
CONSIDERED BY THE CONGRESS. IN ADDITION, SECTION 1(D) OF THE BILL.
WHICH REFERENCES THE SPECIAL STATUS FO SECTION 501 (D)(1) OF PL
SC-422 (WHICH WE ASSUME TO MEAN 501 (C)(1) IS AMBIGUOUS. CONGRESS
SHOULD CLARIFY WHAT RESULT IS INTENDED BY GRANTING SPECIAL STATUS
TO ALIENS WHO WOULD ALSO BE GRANTED PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS UNDER
THE PROVISIONS OF THIS BILL. OTHERWISE WE HAVE NO SUBSTANTIVE
OBJECTION TO SECTION 1, BUT WE DEFER TO THE COMMENTS OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
THE DEPARTMENT STRONGLY OPPOSES THE ENACTMENT OF SECTION 2 OF
h.h. 4853. THIS SECTION WOULD DIRI:CT CONSULAR OFFICERS AT THE
UNITED STATES INTERESTS SECTION IN HAVANA, CUBA. TO PROCESS
IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICATIONS NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF
SECTION 243(G) OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT. MR.
CHAIRMAN. AS THIS COMMITTEE IS AWARE. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS
NOTIFIED THE SECRETARY OF STATE PURSUANT TO SECTION 243(G) OF THE
ACT THAT CUBA HAS DENIED OR UNDULY DELAYED ACCEPTANCE OF THE RETURN
OF ALIENS WHO ARE NATIONALS. CITIZENS. SUBJECTS OR RESIDENTS OF
LUBA. AS PROVIDED FOR BY SECTION 243(G) THE DEPARTMENT HAS
DIRECTED CONSULAR OFFICERS AT THE U.S. INTERESTS SECTION IN hAVANA
NOT TO PROCESS IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICATIONS, EXCEPT THOSE WHICH HAVE
BEEN EXEMPTED FROM THIS PROHIBITION BY REGULATIONS OF THE
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE. BY THIS 1 MEAN THAT THE
INTERESTS SECTION IS CONTINUING TO PROCESS
APPLICATIONS OF IMMEDIATE RELATIVES AS DEFINED IN SECTION
2G1(B) OF THE ACT AND OF RETURNING RESIDENT IMMIGRANTS AS
DEFINED IN SECTION 101(A) (27) (A) OF THE ACT.
SECTION 2 OF H.R. 4853 WOULD HAVE THE EFFECT OF NULLIFYING
SECTION 243(G) OF THE ACT INSOFAR AS IT RELATES TO CUBA.
MR. CHAIRMAN, THE QUESTION OF THE ISSUANCE OF IMMIGRANT
VISAS IN THE U.S. INTERESTS SECTION IN hAVANA IS CLOSELY
RELATED TO THE ACTION OF THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT IN 1980 WHEN IT
PERMITTED THE MASS EXODUS OF PERSONS FROM fIARIEL, CUBA, AND
RELEASED FROM DETENTION COMMON CRIMINALS AND MENTALLY ILL
PERSONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPELLING THEM TO THE UNITED STATES
WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT OF OUR GOVERNMENT. THIS
ACTION BY THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS DONE CONSIDERABLE HARM TO
THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF THE UNITED STATES. PARTICULARLY IN THOSE
COMMUNITIES TO WHICH LARGE NUMBERS OF THESE EXCLUDABLE ALIENS
MIGRATED. IHE COST TO FEDERAL. STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL
AGENCIES IN THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN IMMENSE. NOT TO MENTION
THE BURDEN BORNE BY THE VICTIMS OF CRIMES WHICH HAVE BEEN
COMMITTED IN THE UNITED STATES. SECTION 1 OF h.R. L853 TAKES
ACCOUNT OF THESE PERSONS AND PROVIDES THAT AN OTHERWISE
ELIGIBLE BENEFICIARY COULD NOT BENEFIT FROM THE LAW IF HE WERE
DETERMINED TO BE AN ALIEN WHO CONSTITUTES A DANGER TO THE
COMMUNITY OF THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF PAST CRIMINAL
ACTIVITY OR WHERE THERE EXIST REASONABLE GROUNDS FOR REGARDING
HIM AS A DANGER TO THE SECURITY OF THE UNITED STATES.
MR. CHAIRMAN DURING THE LAST MONTH OF THE CARTER
ADMINISTRATION THERE WERE TWO ROUNDS OF TALKS BETWEEN
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE
GOVERNMENT OF CUBA CONCERNING THE REQUEST OF THE UNITED STATES
THAT CUBA TAKE BACK ITS NATIONALS. CITIZENS. SUBJECTS OR
RESIDENTS WHO WERE INELIGIBLE TO REMAIN IN THE UNITED STATES
FOR SUBSTANTIVE REASONS. THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA, WHICH DID NOT
ACKNOWLEDGE ANY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE BACK THESE PERSONS,
ESTABLISHED TWO CONDITIONS FOR TAKING BACK ANY OF THEM: FIRST,
THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT WOULD CONSIDER THE ACCEPTANCE OF ONLY
THOSE WHO WISHED TO RETURN VOLUNTARILY. AND SECOND THE RETURN
OF ANY SUCH INDIVIDUALS WOULD BE SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE
GOVERNMENT OF CUBA ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS. ALTHOUGH THE
UNITED STATES WAS WILLING AT THAT TIME TO RESUME ISSUANCE OF
IMMIGRANT VISAS IN THE U.S. INTERESTS SECTION IN HAVANA IF AN
AGREEMENT HAD BEEN REACHED. IT COULD NOT ACCEPT THE CONDITIONS
ESTABLISHED BY CUBA. WHILE I DO NOT WISH TO GO INTO DETAIL WHY
THE CUBAN CONDITIONS WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. 1 SHOULD LIKE TO
POINT OUT. MR. CHAIRMAN. THAT ONLY A MINUSCULE MINORITY OF THE
129.000 PERSONS WHO CAME WITH THE MARIEL BOATLIFT HAVE EVER
INDICATED THAT THEY WISH TO RETURN TO CUBA. TO HAVE ACCEPTED
THE CUBAN CONDITIONS WOULD NOT HAVE SOLVED THE PROBLEM OF THE
WHEN THE SUBJECT OF RETURNING THE MARIEL BOATLIFT
EXCLUDABLES WAS RAISED THROUGH DIPLOMATIC CHANNELS WITH CUBA IN
THE PERIOD AFTER JANUARY. 1981, THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT INITIALLY
MADE KNOWN THAT THERE HAD BEEN NO CHANGE IN THE CUBAN POSITION
ON THE TWO CONDITIONS.
NEVERTHELESS, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE .ON MAY 25. 1983,
ASKED CUBA FORMALLY TO TAKE BACK THOSE PERSONS FROM THE MARIEL
BOATLIFT FOUND INELIGIBLE TO REMAIN IN THE UNITED STATES FOR
SUBSTANTIVE REASONS. ALONG WITH THOSE PERSONS WHO MIGHT WISH TO
RETURN TO CUBA VOLUNTARILY. AT THE SAME TIME CUBA WAS FORMALLY
GIVEN A LIST OF THE 789 SUCH PERSONS AGAINST WHOM FINAL ORDERS
OF EXCLUSION HAD BEEN ENTERED AT THAT TIME AND WAS TOLD THAT
ONCE THOSE PERSONS HAD BEEN RETURNED, MORE SUCH LISTS WOULD
FOLLOW. lN RETURN, CUBA WAS TOLD, THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE
PREPARED TO RENEW THE PROCESSING OF IMMIGRANT VISAS IN THE U.S.
INTERESTS SECTION IN hAVANA.
MR. CHAIRMAN, SINCE THE POSSIBLE RETURN OF THESE PERSONS TO
CUBA IS STILL A SUBJECT FOR DISCUSSION BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS
OF THE UNITED STATES AND CUBA, 1 DO NOT WISH TO MAKE FURTHER
PUBLIC COMMENT ON THIS ISSUE. lHE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IS
PREPARED TO PROVIDE YOUR COMMITTEE WITH A CLASSIFIED COMMENTARY
ON DEVELOPMENTS SINCE MAY, 1983. IN THIS REGARD. I DO WISH TO
MAKE CLEAR FOR THE RECORD, HOWEVER. THAT THERE REMAINS A DIRECT
AND VITAL LINK BETWEEN THE POSSIBLE RETURN OF THE EXCLUDABLES
TO CUBA AND THE RESUMPTION OF THE ISSUANCE OF IMMIGRANT VISAS
BY THE U.S. INTERESTS SECTION IN hAVANA.
1 CAN UNFORTUNATELY GIVE NO ASSURANCE THAT CUBA WILL PROVE
ANY MORE WILLING TO ACCEPT THE RETURN OF ITS NATIONALS AT THE
REQUEST OF THE UNITED STATES THAN IT WAS IN DECEMBER 1980 AND
JANUARY 1981. 1 CAN STATE, HOWEVER, THAT IF SECTION 2 OF H.R.
4b53 WERE TO BE ENACTED INTO LAW. THE CHANCE THAT WE COULD
PERSUADE CUBA TO ACCEPT THE RETURN OF THE MARIEL EXCLUDABLES
WOULD BE VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT.
IT MAY BE ARGUED THAT INNOCENT PERSONS IN THE UNITED STATES
AND CUBA, THE SPONSORS OF WOULD-BE IMMIGRANTS AND THE
IMMIGRANTS THEMSELVES. SHOULD NOT BE ASKED TO PAY FOR THE
MISDEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA. 1 CAN WELL UNDERSTAND AND
SYMPATHIZE WITH THAT POINT OF VIEW. SOME OF THESE PERSONS ARE
PRESENTLY ENTERING THE UNITED STATES THROUGH ISSUANCE OF VISAS
BY OUR EMBASSIES IN THIRD COUNTRIES, BUT OF COURSE THIS IS ONLY
A MINORITY OF THOSE WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BE ELIGIBLE.
THE FACT IS. HOWEVER, MR. CHAIRMAN. THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF
CUBA STANDS TO DERIVE CONSIDERABLE ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE IF THE
UNITED STATES RESUMES THE PROCESSING OF IMMIGRANT VISAS IN
HAVANA. IN PARTICULAR, THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT, WHICH CHARGES
VERY HIGH FEES IN CONVERTIBLE CURRENCY FOR THE NECESSARY
DOCUMENTATION TO LEAVE CUBA, WOULD STAND TO GAIN SIGNIFICANT
REVENUES. IF EMIGRATION FROM CUBA TO THE UNITED STATES WERE TO
RISE TO 20.000 PERSONS PER YEAR, WE ESTIMATE THAT CUBA MIGHT
WELL EXPECT TO EARN 30 MILLION DOLLARS IN CONVERTIBLE CURRENCY
PER ANNUM FROM CHARGES FOR EXIT PERMITS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS.
iHUS CUBA HAS A VERY REAL STAKE IN THIS ISSUE.
IT IS CLEAR THAT CONGRESS, WHEN IT ENACTED THE IMMIGRATION
AND NATIONALITY ACT, INTENDED THAT THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOT
ISSUE IMMIGRANT VISAS IN THOSE STATES WHICH REFUSE UPON REQUEST
TO TAKE BACK THEIR NATIONALS. CITIZENS, SUBJECTS OR RESIDENTS
WHO ARE NOT ADMISSIBLE TO THE UNITED STATES. OR WHO DELAY SUCH
ACTION. THE INTENT OF SECTION 2 OF h.R. 4853, TO RESUME NORMAL
IMMIGRANT VISA PROCESSING IN hAVANA. IS AN OBJECTIVE WHICH THE
ADMINISTRATION SHARES. BUT SUCH RESUMPTION SHOULD FOLLOW, NOT
PRECEDE. A DECISION BY THE GOVERNMENT OF CJBA TO ACCEPT THE
RETURN OF THE NARIEL EXCLUDABLES AS PROPOSED BY THE GOVERNMENT
OF THE UNITED STATES.
FOR THESE REASONS, NR. CHAIRMAN, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IS
STRONGLY OPPOSED TO SECTION 2 OF h.R. 4853 AND URGES THAT IT BE
REMOVED FROM THE BILL.
Mr. MAZZOu. The gentleman's time is expired and I appreciate
both of you keeping well within your time. It helps us to move
Let me yield myself 5 minutes to begin some questions. Mr.
Nelson, if I understand correctly, the Department of Justice and
the Immigration Service agree conceptually with the idea of trying
to balance the equities that exist between these two groups of
people, the Cubans and the Haitians. You have differences of opin-
ion with respect to the date. You think the January 1, 1982, date is
too proximate; it should be what date?
Mr. NELSON. I would say July just to round it off; probably a July
1, 1981, date.
Mr. MAZZOu. July 1, which is when the administration began its
policy, July 1, 1981.
In your prepared testimony and also in your statement, Mr.
Nelson, you mention concern about what "any record" means be-
cause the bill specifically says, if you came in, you have to either
be an entrant or if you came in after the entrance status ended,
that you have to make a record.
Could you give me just the best judgment of what you think
might constitute a record.
Mr. NELSON. I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, I really can't. I think our
point there was that we felt that language was ambiguous. We did
not attempt to rewrite it. It is just a matter of concern. If we
reached the point where this language was incorporated in Simp-
son-Mazzoli, we would be happy to work with the committee to try
to get some clarification.
Mr. MAZZOU. Let me ask you this, then, Mr. Nelson. I believe
that this bill does give a retroactive residency. I think that it ac-
cepts January 1, 1982 as the beginning of residency. Is that cor-
Mr. NELSON. I am not sure of that, either.
Mr. MAZZOu. I believe in the-Mr. Michel, perhaps you might
help, too, if you are familiar with this-I believe in the immigra-
tion reform bill, the bill does not grant retroactive residency, is
that your understanding?
Mr. MICHEL. That is my understanding.
Mr. MAZZOU. And in this bill, there is a retroactive grant, is that
Mr. MICHEL. Yes.
Mr. MAZZOu. Does the State Department have any position? Or
is that a matter for the INS and the Justice Department?
Mr. MICHEL. This is something I think is primarily a Department
of Justice and INS issue. I think that we have joined in a consen-
sus that does not favor these retroactive--
Mr. MAZZOu. Thank you.
Mr. Michel, let me ask you this question. Has there ever been a
situation where the United States has granted to people like the
Cubans who are now in Cuba, but who could otherwise qualify as
immigrants because they fit into a classification, a preference cate-
gory; has there been any other situation where America has grant-
ed people in that category an opportunity to come into the country
and have visas issued to them, despite the situation that you de-
Mr. MICHEL. I believe that there have been situations involving
the Soviet Union and one other Soviet bloc country, Czechoslova-
kia, where there were incidents of a failure to return and where,
pursuant to regulations, the constraints of section 243(g) were
Mr. MAZZOu. Waived.
Mr. MICHEL. Let me point out, Mr. Chairman, first that we have,
I think, an entirely different order of scale here involving the
Mariel boatlift; and second, that in the case of Cubans who do
leave Cuba, that they can get a visa; that is, that we do not issue a
visa in Cuba--
Mr. MAzzou. But if they got to some other country, then the
State Department's program is to issue visas? If they, for example,
went to Spain or if they went to some Central American coun-
Mr. MICHEL. What we do not do is issue a visa in Cuba that re-
sults in a hard currency payment to Cuba for the exit permits to
allow the Cuban national to leave. Now, they may collect some-
thing-I don't know if they collect as much for someone going to a
Mr. MAzzoU. You said something like $30 million might be
somehow involved in hard currency--
Mr. MICHEL. That is right.
Mr. MAZZOU. If the full number were to be granted.
Mr. MICHEL. That is right.
Mr. MAZZOU. Now, if I understand correctly, and to flesh out the
record, the State Department does, despite this provision of section
243(g) issue visas to spouses and to minor children of people who
are in the United States, correct?
Mr. MICHEL. That is correct, Mr. Chairman. We do issue visas to
immediate family members as a humanitarian matter and that is
done on the same basis as the exceptions to section 243(g) that we
have done in the Eastern European cases.
Mr. MAzzoLI. In the time past.
Very fine, my time is exactly expired and I yield to the gentle-
man from California for 5 minutes for his questions.
Mr. LUNGREN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Nelson, I understand that the administration has this prefer-
ence to have this question dealt with in the Simpson-Mazzoli bill. I
share that preference. However, do you agree that if the House
rolls back the January 1, 1982 legalization date-as may very well
be the case, particularly judging from the results in Texas this last
week-a specific provision should be included for Cuban and Hai-
tians who either have the entrant designation or who arrived
before 1982, or as you suggest, June or July 1981?
Mr. NELSON. Yes; we would agree with that, and that certainly,
as you know, Mr. Lungren, has been the administration's position
throughout the Simpson-Mazzoli debate. We do favor the Cuban/
Haitian special treatment in that regard.
Mr. LUNGREN. The House leadership, as you know, has indicated
or numerous occasions that we are going to deal with Simpson-
Mazzoli. I could recite them but since I only have 5 minutes, I
In view of this experience, at what point do you think it would
be reasonable for the committee to take action on H.R. 4853, rather
than to continue to wait-hopefully not holding your breath-for
Simpson-Mazzoli to be scheduled?
Mr. NELSON. Well, we-the administration has, of course, shared
the disappointment, I know, of all Members on both sides of the
aisle on the delays on 1510, but we are not ready to give up and we
know the Speaker has made it clear that this was the last delay.
We take the man at his word and we will hold him to that. We are
looking forward to that debate on the House floor coming up, in
fact, in the middle of June.
Mr. FRANK. You are the only one who is. [Laughter.]
Mr. NELSON. And therefore, I will defer any answer as to 4853
Mr. MAzzou. Let me say to my friend from Massachusetts, I look
forward to that debate. He may not, but I do, and I think that the
country does and I think that we could have ourselves, as we had
Mr. FRANK. If I could explain, Mr. Chairman, briefly, I am for
the bill coming up and I am going to do everything I can, but I am
not looking forward to it. [Laughter.]
Mr. MAZZOU. You can't get a bill unless you have the debate, so I
am looking forward to the debate.
Mr. LUNGREN. Mr. Commissioner, I share your hope that the
Mondale intervention will be the last reason for us to delay this
and I hope that we can move on it because it does cause a problem.
I agree with you; this ought to be part of the Simpson-Mazzoli bill,
but if they are just going to continue to dance with us and never
have us finally deal with it, then I think this subcommittee is
going to act on this piece of legislation.
Mr. NELSON. But this is, Mr. Lungren, piecemeal legislation and I
think, as many equities as it might have, there are a lot of other
equities. Let's look at Florida right now. There is a lot of pressure
from a lot of Nicaraguan exiles saying, "Well, we ought to get some
kind of treatment." We clearly face the issue with the El Salvador-
ans, and many others. So if you don't deal with the Cuban/Haitian
issue as part of comprehensive immigration reform, we have some
real problems, both in the Congress and the administration, of
piecemeal legislation on nationality groups.
I think that raises some very serious problems. We feel very
strongly about the issue. We are going to hope for the best on the
debate and enactment of comprehensive legislation and will defer
dealing with this issue until that is resolved.
Mr. LUNGREN. Thank you, Mr. Commissioner.
I yield back.
Mr. MAZZOu. Thank you.
The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. HALL. How many people would be covered by this 4853 if it
Mr. NELSON. Our best estimate, Mr. Hall, is there are approxi-
mately 131,000, about 100,000 Cuban nationals and 31,000 Haitian
nationals. Those are our best estimates.
Mr. MAZZOU. Where are the majority of those people today?
36-483 0 84 3
Mr. NELSON. The majority are in Florida, approximately 60 per-
cent. Again, these are rough estimates, but, of course, we think
they are relatively accurate: about 60 percent in Florida, about 20
percent in the New York/Newark area, about 8 percent in the Los
Angeles area, 2 percent in the Chicago area, and 5 percent
throughout the rest of the United States.
Mr. HALL. Are those people working?
Mr. NELSON. I think, as indicated by Mr. Michel, that a great
number of them are, that they are productive people in society.
The 5,000, just to round out, of the hardcore Mariel Cuban crimi-
nals, certainly cast a spell over this whole issue. The whole number
of these, of course, are excluded from any consideration. No person
with a criminal record, et cetera, would be entitled to this adjust-
ment. This would only apply to those who could meet the various
requirements of the law as to no criminal background and ability
to maintain themselves, et cetera.
So we are thinking of maybe 5,000 or so that are in this excluda-
ble category. As Mr. Michel says, efforts are under way and we are
certainly hopeful of effecting a return to Cuba of that group.
Mr. HALL. Well, you don't really think that is going to happen,
do you? You don't think that Castro is going to accept those people,
Mr. NELSON. Let me ask Mr. Michel to respond to that.
Mr. MICHEL. Excuse me, Mr. Hall, I really would hope that you
would study the classified material that we have offered to provide
and will provide this morning to the committee and would-
Mr. HALL. Does it go into that question?
Mr. MICHEL. Would respectfully request your indulgence in not
pressing us on what the Government of Cuba might or might not
do in this public forum.
Mr. HALL. All right.
The people who are working and leading productive lives, they
have been kind of dangled and had on a string for what, 4Y2 years,
5 years, some of them?
Mr. NELSON. I don't know that I would necessarily accept the
"dangled on a string" analogy, but that is the period of time we are
talking about, 1980, roughly.
Mr. HALL. Now, if we are talking about Simpson-Mazzoli getting
up for discussion and maybe a vote, suppose it doesn't pass? Where
does that leave these people?
Mr. NELSON. Well, I think the comment, Mr. Hall, that I made a
moment ago is. that we have a lot of balancing to do. We have the
real problem, as I said and won't repeat it all, with the piecemeal
legislation. So I think it is proper that we defer a formal position
until we determine whether Simpson-Mazzoli passes.
If it passes, that answers the question. If it doesn't, then we have
to face that. But we have a problem with piecemeal legislation.
Also, on the books now is the Cuban Adjustment Act which Con-
gress passed in 1966. It has been our legal determination by many
reviews of the Justice Department, and others, that the Cubans, by
and large, are entitled to relief under that act. There are some
legal questions; there is now pending litigation brought by Cuban
interest groups that raise some questions-mainly, why haven't
you processed under the Cuban Adjustment Act-but that group,
in our opinion, certainly would prima facie qualify for relief under
the existing legislation.
The problem, of course, is that the Cuban Adjustment Act does
not, by its terms, relate to Haitians.
Mr. HALL. Well, now, there is a very strong editorial, I think,
that will be presented in testimony that follows from the Miami
paper, which strongly follows and backs this legislation. Of course,
those people have had the brunt of this. They have looked at it
day-in and day-out for 41/2 years, more or less.
Mr. NELSON. Of course, I might have seen the editorial; I am not
sure that I am aware of the one you are referring to, but the
Miami Herald, among all the major newspapers in the United
States, even more strongly backs Simpson-Mazzoli as the best
Mr. HALL. Well, I don't think these people have been handled ex-
actly right; on the other hand, I can see the position you are taking
to try to get it all in one fell swoop, but the one fell swoop may not
come forth as rapidly as we may think it will.
If it doesn't, are we going to then-you suggest-come back to
this bill and pass it?
Mr. NELSON. I would suggest that we definitely ought to come
back to it and that we put all our efforts at this point in the Simp-
son-Mazzoli bill which basically encompasses the same principles
that are in the 4853 bill. So, that is the area to concentrate on be-
cause you get the positive benefits from it without the negative as-
pects of the piecemeal legislation. So, if it does not pass, then I
think we have to face these other issues. They are difficult ones.
Mr. HALL. Thank you.
I yield back.
Mr. MAZZOLI. The gentleman's time has expired.
The gentleman from Florida.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Thank you.
Mr. Nelson, I am concerned about the 31,000 Haitians that you
described that are in here now. If we go forward with this legisla-
tion and grant them a status of permanent residents, in essence,
aren't we going to be encouraging more economic folks to come
over here; people who are not eligible for political asylum because
they are not in a reasonable fear of persecution, but instead,
simply having problems in an economic situation back home?
Mr. NELSON. No question, Mr. McCollum, that is a very valid
concern and that is part of the whole balancing factor that we have
to consider in this situation. That is a definite concern.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. If we were not--
Mr. NELSON. Excuse me, that is why, again, I think the compre-
hensive legislation is really the answer because it deals with many,
many issues and it properly encompasses this issue. That is the
way to resolve it. If you have to deal with it piecemeal, the point
you raise is a definite factor to consider.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Isn't it also true that if we deal with it piece-
meal like this instead of in a comprehensive fashion, that we have
got a lot of other nationality considerations here, such as the Sal-
vadorans who have been here for longer than January 1, 1982, who
might very well not be in reasonable fear, although that is a great
debate among many Congressmen, if they were to be sent back.
Aren't we raising a specter of acting very unevenhandedly?
Mr. NELSON. Yes, sir, absolutely right. You stated it better than I
can. And I think you are all aware that the Nicaraguans particu-
larly in the Miami area, have been very active in picketing and
claiming this same kind of consideration so, we definitely have the
result that different nationality groups may use this, saying, "You
did it for the Cubans and the Haitians; now, what about us?" Then
you have that precedent to follow.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Aren't we still having some boat people come
over from Haiti and occasionally making it now?
Mr. NELSON. Yes, there are, but it is certainly greatly limited.
Since the interdiction; since the detention policy, and everything,
the numbers have dramatically dropped. Still, some get through-
not many. We still have some flow from the Bahamas. That still is
probably the bigger area where the bigger number get across from
Bimini in very small boats; that is hard to stop.
Mr. McCoLLUM. But if we pass this bill alone, without the regu-
lar legalization provision in the immigration bill, we might be stir-
ring up a bigger flow than we have got now, right?
Mr. NELSON. That is definitely a possibility.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Michel, I have got a question. I have never
understood how we thought that we were going to advance our
policies-and I haven't read the classified material on this question
of the return of the criminals to Cuba, but I have never understood
how we thought we could advance our policies by denying visas to
the people who want to come over here from Cuba to match up
with their relatives. I have never understood that because it seems
to me the only people we are hurting in this process are the Cuban-
Americans and the Cuban-Americans' relatives who want to come
Castro could care less, from what it appears to me. Why did he
want to send a whole bunch of those people over here?
Mr. MICHEL. For two reasons, Mr. McCollum, and I think they
are both economic-well, there is also a third reason and that is
political. This is an outlet for him and for the Government of Cuba.
The same reason that he sent 130,000 people in 1980, he would like
to send 20,000 a year more to relieve social strains within Cuba.
People who have ties, perhaps, to the United States because of rela-
tives here who might, from his standpoint, be less supportive of the
Communist policies of the Cuban Government.
Second, I mentioned earlier the substantial fees that the Govern-
ment of Cuba charges for exit from that country, and it demands
that those fees be paid in hard currency, which Cuba desperately
needs. It is dependent upon a subsidy of about $4.5 billion a year
from the Soviet Union and would like to have an additional source
of hard currency revenues.
Third, the number of people to whom the exit permits might be
granted in exchange for these fees might be people who are not in
the most productive years of their lives and making the greatest
contribution to Cuba. So the Government of Cuba would benefit in
a number of respects from a resumption of tl'e normal immigrant
visa policy and practice that obtained prior to the Mariel boatlift.
We recognize that there is a cost to individuals as well, and we
regret that. At the same time, we know of no other policy that we
could maintain that would preserve the opportunity for a possible
negotiated return of the Mariel excludables-
Mr. McCoLLUM. How long has this been going on now? Quite a
long time, several years, hasn't it?
Mr. MICHEL. October 1980, I guess.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. I know we aren't privileged to discuss, and I
don't want to, whatever classified status we may have currently in
these negotiations, but the point I want to make is it has been a
long time. We have not been successful with this and it seems to
me patently ridiculous that we haven't taken one of two steps on
either end of that accord. I think it is outrageous, first of all, that
we are holding these individuals captive-that is, the people who
are in Cuba who could come back here for unification if Castro
really wants to send them over there; and second, I think that we
are really remiss, greatly remiss, in not forcibly returning those
criminals and shoving them down his throat.
If that would anger him; if that would tick him off; if that would
make this whole situation even more hostile, so be it. We ought to
take those Cuban Marielitos out of the prison-at least the 1,800-
and-some-odd, however many there are eligible in Atlanta right
now, by a boat, by a ship, by whatever means are necessary and
ship them into Cuba. I have advocated this and, this Congress has;
and I think that whoever is deciding this policy is just absolutely
absurd and ludicrous.
Mr. MAZZOL. I am sorry, the gentleman's time has expired.
The gentleman from Massachusetts is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. FRANK. I want to begin by agreeing with much of what the
gentleman from Florida has said-not the last eight or nine sen-
tences, but we can start back before that.
I haven't read the classified material. I now feel obligated to read
it. I have been here 31/2 years. I have never read classified material
that materially changed my information on anything, but I will
I don't see any justification in the world for us punishing inno-
cent, freedom-loving Cubans who may be dissidents from the Castro
regime, but Fidel Castro won't take back the Marielitos. That is
the policy of the American Government and the gentleman from
Florida has accurately characterized it.
I don't understand it, even it has got some remote bargaining le-
verage-and I am very skeptical that it does. I think we are going
to see a lot of speculative cables about maybe and wouldn't it be
possible and none of it is going to mean very much in the classified
stuff, but the basic point, it seems to me, is undeniable.
We have this Communist dictatorship; we criticize places like
that for refusing people the freedom to travel; we signed the Hel-
sinki accords and say that we are for the freedom to travel; we are
a bastion of freedom; there are people in Cuba who could come
here, we are told; Castro might be willing to let them out; maybe
he is bluffing but we will never know that; and we are now in what
seems to me the intolerable moral position of the United States
saying to those people:
Because of other policies of your government which we don't like, we are going to
deny you the change to escape, to get away from your dissident status and to come
here and be reunified which you might otherwise be legally eligible to do. We are
not even going to give you a visa.
I just don't understand how this administration can carry out
that kind of position. It seems to me to be directly in contrast to
our basic positions.
I will go and read your classified material, but I will be astound-
ed if I find anything in there that can remotely justify the position.
I just think the gentleman from Florida has characterized it accu-
We are in the position, unfortunately, of denying to some people
in Cuba the chance at freedom which they may have, and I just
think that that is not only wrong morally, but in terms of interna-
tional political positions that undercuts us substantially.
Mr. MICHEL. Well, Mr. Frank, let me just comment that the
policy is not intended to punish individuals--
Mr. FRANK. Do you think they care what the intent is when the
effect is to keep them locked up?
Mr. MICHEL. I understand that it has that effect and that is un-
fortunate and I can sympathize with a lot of what you say, but I
would also wish to reiterate that those who are allowed to leave
Cuba and go to a third country are admitted to the United States
and those who are immediate family members of residents of the
United States are presently being--
Mr. FRANK. You are saying it doesn't make any difference, then,
if we have the restriction? Then why do we have it? I mean, if they
can get out and go to a third country and come here, then what is
the point of it? Is this all something--
Mr. MICHEL. The numbers are different.
Mr. FRANK. OK, so it does make a substantial difference. All
right, let me get on to the subject of this, if I can.
First, let me explain my comment, Commissioner. You said you
did not like being characterized the way the Department was with
regard to this legislation. That is what I mean when I said I wasn't
looking forward to the debate.
I will continue to be for this bill, but if you think you were un-
fairly characterized in this business, you wait until the debate
comes up and hear what they say about all of us. So we will be
through that now, but we will all be there.
I just want to make sure I understand your position, because I
understand the legislative strategies. As I understand your posi-
tion, you have no objection to, in effect, a January 1982 cutoff date
for Haitians and Cubans; is that correct?
Mr. NELSON. Well, we would amend that to, say, July 1, 1981.
Mr. FRANK. Why? What are we talking about-
Mr. NELSON. Maybe you hadn't arrived when I made the com-
ment. I think, first of all, remember the context of our position is
that it really is premature to push this bill forward. We ought to
Mr. FRANK. I understand. We are all for Simpson-Mazzoli and be-
cause it is purely hypothetical, we will make all the appropri-
Mr. NELSON. And it is the spirit of it that we do concur with. We
have made that clear and that has been envisioned--
Mr. FRANK. Let me put it this way: We are going to deal with
this either in Simpson-Mazzoli or not, so the question is what is the
date in whichever piece of legislation we address it?
Mr. NELSON. Obviously, within Simpson-Mazzoli, we are for the
concept. It makes sense. We have supported it all along and--
Mr. FRANK. With what cutoff date?
Mr. NELSON. We hope the record makes it clear. Now, I think on
the cutoff date, and this was the point that really hadn't come up-
it was not in our testimony, but it seemed a little incongruous that
we talk about a January 1982 cutoff date when the President of the
United States and the Attorney General announced, and we start
implementing the law, the detention law that is in the statute, and
backing that up with our judicial position, which has been fully
vindicated, and that all started in the summer of 1981. It seems
that it doesn't make a lot of sense to then have a January 1982
Our recommendation, if we get down to a date situation, that it
be moved back--
Mr. FRANK. How many people are we talking about-
Mr. NELSON [continuing]. To the middle of 1981.
Mr. FRANK. How many people would get caught in the 6-month
Mr. NELSON. I think there are-I am not positive, but maybe in
the range of 10,000.
Mr. FRANK. We are talking about 10,000 people, then, who would
be in that 6-month period?
Mr. NELSON. At the most.
Mr. FRANK. And your position would be with them, to send them
Mr. NELSON. Sure, if they do not otherwise qualify for admission
to the United States, either as legal immigrants or as--
Mr. FRANK. Wait, let me just ask my last question. There is a lot
of concern that we are going to be dealing with this, we hope, the
problem of the deportations now going ahead, and I realize it has
been in litigation. I would hope that there could be some forebear-
ance with regard to people-I would hate to see people who would
qualify under this legislation be deported in the interim if we know
the legislation is coming.
What is the Service's position with regard to those people who
might be the beneficiary of this legislation? Wouldn't it be reasona-
ble to hold off until at least the summer comes and we get a sense
of what we are doing, either with the Mazzoli bill or with this bill?
Mr. NELSON. Mr. Frank, you can certainly make a lot of equita-
ble arguments that we ought to do that, but I think we have seen
what has happened in the last 2 years with Simpson-Mazzoli and
all the delays. We had the problem with the silva letterholder issue
where we did defer action pending likely resolution. It didn't
happen. People would like all the benefits on the one hand, but yet
are fighting the bill-many of the people that are asking for the
special benefit are doing everything they can to kill the overall bill.
So the bottom line is that, absent some very special consider-
ations, we would not be willing, pending potential legislation.
Mr. FRANK. Commissioner, I have been supportive of a lot of
what you do and you have been supportive of some of my concerns
and I appreciate it, but that disappoints me. Like with the Cuba
thing, I just don't like that idea of holding innocent people hostages
because we don't like what third parties are doing. It seems to me
that in both cases, there is a tendency to do that.
Mr. MAZZOU. Thank you. The gentleman's time is up. I appreci-
ate his understanding.
The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. FISH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I think the record ought to show, Mr. Chairman, that every
member of the subcommittee is present at the ungodly hour that
you called this meeting--
Mr. MAZZOU. Sorry, I was--
Mr. FISH. You have got 100 percent attendance, which is, I
Mr. MAzzoU. I appreciate your bringing it up. It is an honor to
chair a panel like this because we probably have, as a group,
worked together better and had better attendance than almost any
other panel on this committee--
Mr. FRANK. This subcommittee probably does better at ungodly
Mr. MAZZOU. I don't know. Maybe, Ham, we are all insomniacs.
Maybe that is part of it; I am not sure.
Mr. FISH. I ask unanimous consent that my 5 minutes commence
Mr. MAZZOU. Your time has expired, I am sorry. [Laughter.]
Mr. FISH. Mr. Commissioner, I welcome you both here, of course,
this morning and I wonder if you could comment on the 1966
Cuban Adjustment Act. Earlier in your testimony, you made refer-
ence to the fact that the measure we are considering this morning
does not deal with it, whereas the Simpson-Mazzoli bill does.
Could you tell us why you prefer the repeal of that act?
Mr. NELSON. It seems again, Mr. Fish, that we are confronted
with the Cuban Adjustment Act; it has been on the books since
1966 and I have a feeling from the committee that in the light of
some of the events that have occurred since, that it would have
been better not to have it there at this point. It seems, again, the
idea of the comprehensive approach that Simpson-Mazzoli advances
is the way to deal with it. Not only could the Cuban/Haitian issue
be dealt with in that manner, but we probably shouldn't have that
act on the books; should something happen in the future, then we
are still facing it.
It seems to me we ought to sort of clear the decks.
Mr. FISH. Thank you, and, of course, I want to commend you and
support your comments about the administration's efforts for com-
prehensive immigration reform. The administration has been par-
ticularly supportive of Simpson-Mazzoli. That has been a strong
effort on the part of the administration for the last several years.
Mr. Michel, as I recall, it was sometime in the spring of 1980
that our interests section in Cuba stopped processing immigration
visas for the very people that are still there in preference catego-
ries. So negotiations have been going on-as you said, they started
the fall of that year-so they have been going on almost 4 years.
Now it is difficult, since you presented this subcommittee the
classified material that we haven't had a chance to look at, but I
want to ask you this: Have the negotiations with the Cuban Gov-
ernment been on the narrow issue, the humanitarian issue of the
exchange of the excludable Marielitos for the issuance of visas to
people with established preferences, or are we insisting-as we did
when Secretary Haig was in charge-that a much broader range of
political issues be negotiated at the same time?
Mr. MICHEL. We are not insisting on a broad range of political
issues, Mr. Fish. In the material that I have for the committee,
there is a description of the exchanges and developments that have
occurred since our note of last May, in which we asked the Govern-
ment of Cuba to accept the return of a specified list of individuals
against whom final orders of exclusion had been issued.
I would prefer to ask you to read the description of these devel-
opments, rather than describe them.
Mr. FISH. Right. A few of us did have an opportunity to discuss
this issue with Premier Castro in 1982 solely on the humanitarian
basis of an exchange, and he said he was perfectly willing to talk
about that in that context and on that single narrow issue.
You have testified that there have been instances when 243(g)
has been waived, and we have heard about the economic and politi-
cal benefits for the Government of Cuba, but I can't help but echo
what my colleague from Florida said and my colleague from Massa-
chusetts, that it does seem to me that we are penalizing the wrong
people. We are penalizing the U.S. citizens and lawful permanent
residents who are seeking family reunification. We are penalizing
those in Cuba who have qualified under a preference category for 4
Inasmuch as negotiations have proceeded for 4 years so far, it
would seem to me that we should start thinking in a broader vein
here about what we are doing. As money is being brought up, we
could also bring up the cost of incarceration to the United States as
a major factor here.
Mr. MAZZOu. I am sorry, the gentleman's time has expired. I
apologize, but the clock doesn't lie.
Mr. FISH. That is all right, I am finished.
Mr. MAzzou. With the indulgence of my further remaining pan-
elists, I would like to yield to our distinguished chairman of the
full committee and the author of the bill for any statements he
might want to make or any observations.
The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Rodino, is recognized for 5
Mr. RODINO. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and members
of the committee. First of all, Mr. Chairman, I want to commend
you for scheduling this committee hearing this morning. I also
thank the other subcommittee members for being here on a matter
that I consider to be of tremendous urgency. I appreciate the fact
that the Commissioner is present here this morning in order to
present views of the Immigration Service, together with the State
I believe there is definitely a situation here that cries out for im-
mediate action. I have been discussing this matter for a long period
of time with the Immigration Service and the State Department.
It seems that our administrative enforcement policies, while not-
deliberately, have discriminated against the beneficiaries of this
bill. For this reason, it became incumbent on us-if you remember,
Mr. Chairman, to address this problem legislatively, first of all, in
H.R. 1510, which is the proposal that is still pending before the
Congress. Second, I thought it necessary to introduce this separate
legislative proposal H.R. 4853-as a safety net in the event the Im-
migration reform bill is not scheduled for floor action. I would ask
unanimous consent that you include in the record a copy of the bill
and my prepared testimony.
Mr. MAZZOLI. Without objection.
[H.R. 4853 is printed on p. 3.]
[The prepared statement of Hon. Peter W. Rodino, Jr., follows:]
March 9, 1984
HONORABLE PETER W. RODINO, JR.
I WISH TO COMMEND THE SUBCOMMITTEE AND ITS CHAIRMAN FOR SCHEDULING
HEARINGS ON THIS MOST IMPORTANT LEGISLATION AND I AM MOST HOPEFUL THAT
THIS BILL OR THE COMPANION PROVISION IN H.R. 1510 WILL BE ENACTED INTO
LAW THIS YEAR.
THIS SUBCOMMITTEE IS OFTEN CALLED UPON TO PROVIDE SOME SORT OF RELIEF TO
ALIENS IN THE UNITED STATES WHO DO NOT FIT NEATLY INTO THE PARAMETERS OF
EXISTING LAWS. OFTEN WE ARE CONFRONTED BY COUNTERVAILING PRESSURES AND
INTERESTS, AND SOMETIMES OUR COMPASSION FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO MAKE THE
UNITED STATES THEIR HOME MUST BE TEMPERED BY THE REALIZATION THAT EVEN THE
UNITED STATES, WITH ITS VAST SPACES AND BOUNTIFUL RESOURCES, CANNOT ACCOM-
IN SOME CASES, HOWEVER, THE EQUITIES ARE SO OBVIOUS, THE NEED FOR JUSTICE
SO EVIDENT, AND THE DICTATES OF FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS SO COMPELLING THAT
SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE RELIEF MUST BE PROVIDED. THE CASE OF THE CUBAN/
HAITIAN ENTRANTS IS JUST THAT TYPE OF CASE-
FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY THE SO-CALLED MARIEL BOATLIFT WAS IN FULL SWING. THEY
CAME BY THE THOUSANDS DURING THAT PERIOD NOT ONLY FROM CUBA BUT ALSO FROM
HAITI. THEY CAME IN ALL TYPES OF BOATS, INCLUDING SOME THAT WERE NOT
SEA-WORTHY* SOME DID NOT MAKE IT, AND FOR THEM THE AMERICAN DREAM ENDED
EITHER ON THE HIGH SEAS OR ON THE BEACHES OF FLORIDA, WHERE THEIR BODIES
BUT THOSE WHO DID MAKE IT WERE FILLED WITH HOPES OF A NEW LIFE, OF A SECOND
CHANCE. THE CUBANS WERE TOLD THAT THEY WOULD BE WELCOMED WITH "OPEN HEARTS"
AND "OPEN ARMS," AND INDEED THOSE WHO ARRIVED IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER OF
19S0 WERE QUICKLY PROCESSED AND RESETTLED. BUT FOR MANY OF THOSE WHO
ARRIVED FROM HAITI IN 1981 THE WELCOME WAS NOT SO WARM. UNLIKE THEIR HAITIAN
PREDECESSORS AND THE CUBAN ARRIVALS ONLY MONTHS BEFORE, THEY FOUND THEMSELVES
INDEFINITELY DETAINED IN INS DETENTION CENTERS. DAYS TURNED INTO WEEKS, AND
WEEKS TURNED INTO MONTHS. MEANWHILE, A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT IN MIAMI, AND
LATER TWO FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURTS, WERE REVIEWING THE EPISODE. ALL THREE
COURTS CONCLUDED THAT THE PROCESSING OF HAITIAN NATIONALS IN THE UNITED
STATES HAD BEEN PREJUDICIAL AND UNLAWFUL. THE LITIGATION CONTINUES.
IT HAS BEEN FOUR YEARS SINCE CUBAN/HAITIAN ENTRANTS WERE FIRST PAROLED INTO
THE UNITED STATES. DESPITE THE FACT THAT BOTH THE CARTER AND REAGAN
ADMINISTRATIONS SUBMITTED LEGISLATION TO ALLOW THEM TO ADJUST STATUS, AND
DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE IMMIGRATION REFORM AND CONTROL ACTS OF 1982 AND
1983 INCLUDED PROVISIONS FOR ADJUSTMENT, THEY ARE STILL WAITING.
HOW LONG MUST THEY CONTINUE TO WAIT? HOW LONG WILL THEY BE DENIED THE
OPPORTUNITY TO PETITION FOR THE ADMISSION OF THEIR FAMILIES? HOW LONG
WILL THEY BE DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY TO' BECOME PERMANENT RESIDENTS AND
EVENTUALLY CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES? HOW LONG WILL THEY BE SUBJECTED
TO STATE LAWS THAT LIMIT EMPLOYMENT IN CERTAIN OCCUPATIONS TO PERSONS
WHO ARE U.S. CITIZENS OR LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT ALIENS? HOW LONG WILL
THEY BE REQUIRED TO ENDURE UNCERTAINTY AND CONFUSION REGARDING THEIR FUTURE
IN THIS COUNTRY?
FOR THEIR SAKE AND FOR OUR NATION'S SAKE WE MUST SETTLE THIS MATTER AND WE
MUST SETTLE IT NOW. THAT IS WHAT MY BILL, H.R. 4853, WOULD DO-
LIKE MANY OTHERS, I HAD HOPED, AND I CONTINUE TO HOPE, THAT THIS MATTER
WILL BE RESOLVED BY PASSAGE OF THE IMMIGRATION REFORM AND CONTROL ACT.
I INTRODUCED H.R. 4853 NOT BECAUSE I BELIEVE THE IMMIGRATION REFORM AND
CONTROL ACT WILL NOT PASS, BUT BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE
ADJUSTMENT OF CUBAN NATIONALS UNDER THE 1966 ACT WOULD SEVER THE LINK
BETWEEN TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE -- CUBANS AND HAITIANS -- WHO ARRIVED HERE
UNDER SIMILAR -- IF NOT IDENTICAL -- CIRCUMSTANCES-
IT IS CLEAR THAT THE CUBAN ENTRANTS HAVE BEEN VERY PATIENT IN WAITING FOR
THE CONGRESS TO ACT* IT IS EQUALLY CLEAR THAT THEY ARE JUSTIFIED IN SEEKING
ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE 1966 ACT. MY FEAR, HOWEVER, IS THAT THE HAITIANS, IF
FORCED TO STAND ALONE, MAY BE PASSED OVER, NEGLECTED AND FORGOTTEN FOREVER.
THAT IS WHY I HAVE INTRODUCED AND SOUGHT URGENT CONSIDERATION OF THIS
URGENTLY-NEEDED REMEDIAL LEGISLATION.
I HAVE SAID THAT THE CUBAN AND HAITIAN NATIONALS COVERED BY MY BILL ARRIVED
IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE SAME TIME AND UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES-
LET ME ELABORATE- SINCE THE EARLY 1960'S THE CUBAN PEOPLE HAVE DEMONSTRATED
THEIR DISDAIN FOR THE REGIME OF FIDEL CASTRO. THEY HAVE FLED TO EUROPE, TO
OTHER NATIONS IN THE CARIBBEAN, AND OF COURSE, TO THE UNITED STATES WHERE
THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WILLINGLY ACCEPTED* IN FACT, SINCE CASTRO CAME TO
POWER NEARLY TEN PERCENT OF THE CUBAN POPULATION -- OR ONE MILLION PEOPLE
-- HAVE COME AS REFUGEES TO THE UNITED STATES. THE RECENT ENTRANTS, THEN,
ARE SIMPLY THE LATEST MANIFESTATION OF THE HISTORICAL MIGRATION FROM THAT
HAITIANS, ON THE OTHER HAND, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY WERE ALSO FLEEIN,
POVERTY AND PERSECUTION, HAVE NEVER BEEN THE BENEFICIARIES OF SPECIALLY
ENACTED U.S. REFUGEE LAWS. THERE CAN BE LITTLE DOUBT, HOWEVER, THAT THE
QUALITY OF LIFE IN HAITI IS AS BAD, IF NOT WORSE THAN, THAT IN CUBA.
THE PEOPLE OF HAITI HAVE THE LOWEST PER CAPITAL INCOME OF ANY PEOPLE IN THE
WESTERN HEMISPHERE, AND THEIR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS OVER FIFTY PERCENT. IN
SHORT, MOST OF THEM LIVE A LIFE OF RELENTLESS, GRINDING POVERTY. AND
ALTHOUGH MANY OF THE HAITIANS MAY NOT, IN THE STRICTEST SENSE, BE POLITICAL
REFUGEES, WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT FREQUENTLY THE LINE SEPARATING POLITICAL
EXILES FROM ECONOMIC MIGRANTS IS SO VAGUE AND IMPERCEPTIBLE AS TO BE, FOR
ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, MEANINGLESS.
THE HAITIAN BOAT PEOPLE, LIKE THE MOST RECENT FLOW OF CUBANS TO THIS
COUNTRY, REPRESENT THE LOWEST SOCIOECONOMIC SECTOR OF THE POPULATION OF
THEIR COUNTRY TO HAVE COME TO THE UNITED STATES THUS FAR. LIKE THE CUBANS,
MANY OF THEM HAVE COME NOT SO MUCH TO ESCAPE PHYSICAL TORTURE AND IMPRISON-
MENT AS TO ESCAPE THE SPIRITUAL TORTURE AND IMPRISONMENT THAT PERMEATES THEIR
LIVES. THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE HAITIAN PEOPLE HAVE GONE TO ESCAPE THAT KIND
OF LIFE -- TO THE POINT OF RISKING DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS -- CONSTITUTES A
MORE COMPELLING TESTIMONY CONCERNING THE CONDITIONS IN HAITI THAN ANY SET OF
FACTS AND FIGURES COULD EVER PRODUCE.
MR. CHAIRMAN, THE LEGISLATION BEFORE US IS NOT WITHOUT PRECEDENT. IN 1958,
FOR EXAMPLE, CONGRESS PASSED SPECIAL LEGISLATION TO ALLOW THE ADJUSTMENT OF
HUNGARIAN REFUGEES WHO HAD BEEN PAROLED INTO THE UNITED STATES. SIMILARLY,
IN 1960, 1966, AND AGAIN IN 1975 SPECIAL LEGISLATION WAS PASSED TO ALLOW
THE ADJUSTMENT OF EASTERN EUROPEAN REFUGEES, CUBAN PAROLEES, AND INDOCHINESE
PAROLEES, RESPECTIVELY. IT IS CLEAR, THEN, THAT WHEN COMPELLING NEED HAS
BEEN DEMONSTRATED, CONGRESS HAS NOT BEEN UNWILLING TO ACT*
IN CONCLUSION, MR. CHAIRMAN, WE ARE DEALING HERE TODAY WITH A SITUATION
THAT CRIES OUT FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION. IN MY MIND THERE IS NO DOUBT AS TO
WHAT WE MUST DO-
BY PASSING H.R. 4853 WE WILL ALLOW THOUSANDS OF CUBANS AND HAITIANS WHO ARE
HERE AND ARE ALREADY CONTRIBUTING TO OUR SOCIETY TO LIVE FREE AND SECURE IN
THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY ARE WELCOME HERE AND WILL NOT BE FORCED TO RETURN.
WE WILL ALLOW THEM TO GET ON WITH THEIR LIVES. AND WE WILL PUT BEHIND US
ONCE AND FOR ALL THIS TARNISHED EPISODE IN OUR IMMIGRATION HISTORY.
I WOULD ASK THAT THE CORRESPONDENCE ATTACHED TO THIS STATEMENT BE INCLUDED
IN THE HEARING RECORD. THESE LETTERS ARE INDICATIVE OF THE WIDESPREAD SUPPORT
FOR THIS HUMANITARIAN LEGISLATION.
(See app. 1 at p. 149.)
Mr. RODINO. There is precedent for the kind of action that we
need to take, especially in a situation such as this. My recollection
is that back in 1958, when we dealt with the Hungarian refugee
problems, we immediately, as a Congress, recognized the need to le-
galize their status and we did so. We did again in 1966 for Cuban
refugees and we did so in 1975 when we dealt with the Indo-Chi-
Almost 4 years ago this month we were dealing with the ques-
tion of the Mariel boatlift and we found that there were people
who, responding to the invitation to come to this country, because
we opened up our hearts and arms, did so. I think that it would
behoove us to recognize that their plight has been brought to our
attention time and again by so many people who have come to us
and many of these people are here today. There will be present this
morning a distinguished member of the council from the city of
Newark, Mr. Donald Payne, Bishop Bevilacqua, speaking for the
people who have been ignored and neglected for so long and Mr.
Hill, who represents Bayard Rustin. They, together with many
other civic labor and religious groups have long been interested in
the plight of these people.
I think that we can do no less than recognize that this is a situa-
tion where people who came here before 1982 have been left, as I
have described it, in legal limbo.
I think that we need to so something about it. I haven't been
privy to some of the statements that have been made by the repre-
sentatives of the Government here, but I have heard them time
and time again. Very frankly, they don't square with what I be-
lieve to be the kind of commitment we should make to resolving
the-uncertain status of these people.
I don't believe that there are people who deserve more just treat-
ment than the Haitians and Cuban entrants. I think that it is high
time, Mr. Chairman, that this committee takes action by approving
Again, I want to applaud you and the ranking member of our
full committee Mr. Fish, who has always been very responsive, to-
gether with the your ranking minority member on the subcommit-
tee, Mr. Lungren, and the other subcommittee members for their
attention and participation here this morning.
Mr. MAZZOu. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. You will be
pleased to know that everyone spoke highly about the concept of
your bill and the attitude it displays and the charity and compas-
sion. There have been some differences, perhaps, with the second
section of the bill which deals with the issuance of the visas to
Cubans who are in Cuba and there has been some evidence of some
technical difficulty with some of the words, but conceptually, I
think that everyone certainly supports the bill.
The gentleman from Michigan is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. CROCKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to join those in complementing the chairman of our full
committee for his thoughtfulness and generosity in introducing
H.R. 4853 and also for the impassioned plea he just made in sup-
port of that bill.
Most of the comments and questions that I would have have al-
ready been anticipated by my colleague, the gentleman from Texas.
The position of the two departments, I take it, is that we should
wait and let this whole question be covered by Simpson-Mazzoli;
and yet I think the general tenor of thinking in the House is that
there won't be any Simpson-Mazzoli any time soon. So to say leave
it to Simpson-Mazzoli is just another way of saying, don't do any-
thing about the question.
If I understand your testimony, Mr. Nelson, and also Mr.
Michel's testimony, you both agree that there is no problem as far
as the Cuban refugees are concerned, because what is attempted in
H.R. 4853 is already available to Cuban refugees under the Cuban
If that is so, then it necessarily follows that H.R. 4853 is really
intended to correct the situation as far as Haitians are concerned
and to put Haitians in essentially the same position that the Cuban
Adjustment Act puts the Cubans.
So the substance of your position, gentlemen, is that you are just
opposed to bringing about the kind of equality of treatment that
the chairman of the full committee was just speaking about. Now,
when I consider that conclusion against the background of your im-
passioned denials that there has been any racial discrimination
with respect to the treatment of Haitian refugees, I wonder how
much sense it makes to say, on the one hand that there has been
no discrimination against Haitians-and to condemn those who
have pointed out the existence of that discrimination-and on the
other hand, to say the Cubans are already being treated fairly
under the Cuban Adjustment Act, but we don't want the Haitians
to be given the same fair treatment that this bill would provide.
Do you wish to comment on that?
Mr. NELSON. Yes, Mr. Crockett, I do. I think our earlier com-
ments, and I certainly won't repeat them all, but I would summa-
rize several, are responsive. As pointed out by Mr. Michel and
myself, this administration, since the time it has been in office, and
even prior to the introduction of Simpson-Mazzoli, has favored
some-if you can call it special treatment for the Cuban/Haitians,
recognizing there are some unique situations there, but in context
of the overall immigration reform.
Now, I am disappointed to hear what seems to be a negative pre-
diction on the Simpson-Mazzoli bill coming up. We are all very in-
terested in watching that; remember, it is 95 percent down the
track, needing only a final rule after full Rules Committee, and
floor action. We know very well, with Chairman Rodino and Chair-
man Mazzoli and other able members of this subcommittee and
Senator Simpson and counterparts, that there will be a successful
conference I think the President and the administration made it
clear that we want a bill and we expect that there will be a bill.
So, while we know there are roadblocks, and it is certainly very
unfortunate that there seems to be a politicalization lately, and I
hope that that doesn't continue and that we can get a vote, as we
are very far down the track. To start all over with this one part,
we think, is the wrong way to go. So we are not saying we won't
deal with this issue, but let's put all our attention and efforts into
the comprehensive bill and do all we can, as Members of both sides
of the aisle, to get that bill up.
That answers it, and it also voids, as I have testified earlier, the
other problem of the piecemeal legislation. I think even Chairman
Rodino and others would recognize that while everybody would like
to do some balancing for the Haitians, in context with the
Cubans-there is no argument with that-but it does open up, as
Mr. McCollum's questions and others indicate-it does open up a
problem of the nationality-specific legislation that will then be car-
ried on by other nationality groups in saying, "If you did it for the
Haitians, you do it for the others."
The Cuban legislation has been on the books for almost 20 years.
That has been there. That is a fact of life, but I think that is why
we need the comprehensive bill approach-and I think all would
agree with that.
Now, the question is, if that does not pass, then what do we do?
That is a tough question and I think we have to face it, but it is
premature at this point and it is certainly not correct, sir, to say
that that is the way of saying we oppose it.
I will only comment very briefly because of the time constraints.
I think I have made my point on the discrimination issue. I think
it has been very, very unfortunate, Mr. Crockett, that a lot of
media, a lot of interest groups, have really not been too responsible
in their comments, because the law on the books that has been en-
forced, in the relevant court decisions the facts indicate that there
has not been discrimination.
Remember, too, that there are many thousands of Haitians,
20,000-or-so, that are here; and there is no effort from this adminis-
tration to deport them, and they would not. So I think that that
has to be--
36-483 0 84 4
Mr. MAzzou. I apologize and I apologize to the gentleman from
Michigan but time has expired. Our subcommittee will try to com-
plete one more panel before 9:30. Actually, at 9, both the Republi-
can conference and the Democratic caucus start. Our members
here may feel free to leave if they have to.
I am hoping we can continue until 9:30 and finish one more
panel and maybe take a break and then come back and finish up
So we thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. MAZZOu. I would like to call forward the next panel, which
is actually listed as panel No. 2, and that is Bishop Anthony Bevi-
lacqua, chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Migration, Nation-
al Conference of Catholic Bishops; Bishop Phillip Cousin, president
of the National Council of Churches; and Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum,
director of the American Jewish Committee.
Excuse me, I am just reminded that Councilman Donald Payne is
appearing for Bishop Cousin of the National Council of Churches.
Bishop Bevilacqua, we again are on a very short time so you are
recognized for 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF BISHOP ANTHONY J. BEVILACQUA, CHAIRMAN,
COMMITTEE ON MIGRATION, NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF
CATHOLIC BISHOPS; DONALD PAYNE, COUNCILMAN, NEWARK
MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL
OF CHURCHES; AND RABBI MARC H. TANENBAUM, DIRECTOR OF
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE
Bishop BEVILACQUA. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcom-
mittee, I am Bishop Anthony J. Bevilacqua, Roman Catholic Bishop
of Pittsburgh. I am the chairman of the Committee on Migration of
the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and I am delighted to
appear today on behalf of the U.S. Catholic Conference to express
our enthusiastic and unequivocal support for H.R. 4853, the
Cuban/Haitian Act of 1984, as introduced by Judiciary Committee
Chairman Peter W. Rodino, Jr.
It is a distinct pleasure to have this opportunity to personally
thank all of you on this subcommittee who have had the courage
and vision to support this bill to end the suffering of the Haitian
and Cuban boat people.
Mr. Chairman, H.R. 4853 is a just, carefully crafted and long-
awaited solution to the plight of this limited group of Cuban and
Haitian refugees. Chairman Rodino's bill will grant permanent res-
idence to approximately 125,000 Cuban and approximately 131,000
Haitian boat people who arrived during the comparable periods in
1980 and 1981.
These Cuban and Haitian refugees risked their lives to flee from
misery and repression. However, it is the unconscionable treatment
that they received on arrival and the still unfulfilled promises of
our Government to regularize their status that makes their situa-
tion unique. The vast majority of the Cubans from Mariel and the
comparable and smaller group of Haitian refugees have been re-
peatedly promised that their entrant status would be converted to
permanent residency through legislation.
We applaud the long-awaited regularization of status for Cuban
and Haitian entrants, but the true humanity and sophistication of
this bill is that it includes as beneficiaries a relatively small group
of additional refugees, those arriving subsequent to the entrant
program, but before January 1, 1982. The U.S. Catholic Conference
is committed to having this later group included, since in many
cases, they have suffered even more than the previous arrivals.
Of particular and perhaps even a primary concern to us is the
group of over 2,000 Haitian refugees who were detained for up to
18 months in isolated locations around our country as part of a de-
tention program that is universally regretted.
Now is the time for us to find the human compassion to recog-
nize the suffering of the Cuban and Haitian refugees who arrived
on our shores before 1982; recognize the equities that they have ac-
cumulated in our communities; and to finally grant them perma-
nent residence here.
Mr. Chairman, it is essential that the subcommittee formally
confirm the comprehensive coverage of H.R. 4853 with regard to
two subgroups. Clearly this bill-the bill is intended to grant per-
manent residency to Cuban/Haitian entrants.
Subsection (c) of the bill, however, excludes from coverage nonim-
migrants who are lawfully admitted to the United States and who
subsequently overstayed their visas while never having made appli-
cation for political asylum in our country. Unfortunately, a rigid
application of subsection (c) could arguably undermine the spirit of
A number of the entrants have previously been admitted to the
United States before 1980 and never applied for political asylum
because of the official assurances that their status would be regu-
larized. A merely formalistic reading of subsection (c) unfairly
might make ineligible this group of entrants.
A second ambiguity in coverage of H.R. 4853 involves the eligibil-
ity of certain Haitians whose files were lost by the Immigration
Service. During the INS Haitian program, a significant number of
files were misplaced as Haitian refugees were transferred from
prison to isolated prison around the country. Clearly, coverage
under this legislation must be available to those Haitians whose
original records were lost or destroyed through no fault of their
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we enthusiastically support the
clear intent of this legislation to grant permanent residence on an
equal basis to these Cuban and Haitian boat people in order to im-
plement past promises and to correct past injustices.
The time is now for the U.S. Congress to reaffirm this country's
commitment to remain a safe haven for the oppressed and we ask
that this bill be passed into law immediately.
[The prepared statement of Bishop Bevilacqua follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF BISHOP ANTHONY J. BEVILACQUA, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE
ON MIGRATION, NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee:
I am Bishop Anthony J. Bevilacqua, Roman Catholic Bishop of
Pittsburgh. I am the Chairman of the Committee on Migration of
the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. I am delighted to
have this opportunity to appear before this Subcommittee on
behalf of the United States Catholic Conference to express our
enthusiastic and unequivocal support for H.R. 4853, commonly
called the Cuban/Haitian Adjustment Act of 1984, as introduced by
Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter W. Rodino, Jr.
Mr. Chairman and other distinguished Members of the
Subcommittee, I am grateful for your consideration of and support
for this legislation. It is a distinct pleasure to have this
opportunity to personally thank all of those who have had the
courage and vision to support this bill to end the suffering of
the Haitian and Cuban boat people. I am particularly grateful to
Chairman Rodino for introducing this legislation, and to Chairman
Mazzoli, Chairman Pepper, Chairman Fascell, Chairman Barnes,
Representatives Fauntroy, Dixon, and the other distinguished
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, for their sustained
leadership on this question.
For many years the United States Catholic Conference has
been actively involved in seeking substantive and procedural due
process of law for the Haitian, and later the Cuban, boat
people. We are grateful and proud that such a wide range of
nationally-known civil rights organizations have joined us during
the last several years in this effort, and we are pleased to
unite our voices crying for justice for these refugees again
today. It gives me particular personal pleasure to be joined
today by my colleagues Bayard Rustin and Michael Hooper, who have
worked tirelessly to end the tragic civil and human rights
plight, and the legal limbo, of the Haitian refugees through the
National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, on which I am also proud
For many years the United States Catholic Conference has
participated with deep interest in the national debate about
immigration legislation. This reflects the Church's pastoral
concern for immigrants and refugees, both the documented and the
undocumented, whatever their origin, manner of entry, or present
status. It reflects the fact that, through its Office of
Migration and Refugee Services working in conjunction with its
diocesan counterparts, the United States Catholic Conference
conducts the nation's largest voluntary program of assistance to
immigrants and refugees. It reflects sensitivity to the ethnic
and nationality groups most directly affected by immigration
policy, notably including the large and growing Hispanic
population of the United States. And it reflects concern for the
nation itself as a community of diverse origins committed by its
history, its best values, and its own self-interest to liberty
and justice for all.
Soon after Chairman Rodino took the initiative to introduce
this essential legislation to grant permanent residence to a
well-defined group of deserving refugees, the General Secretary
of Vhe United States Catholic Conference, Monsignor Daniel F.
Hoye, applauded the bill and pledged Conference support in
obtaining its passage. Monsignor Hoye stated that through this
"...the plight of our Haitian brothers and sisters who have
fled poverty and persecution, only to find imprisonment and
deprivation upon arrival in this country, will finally be
relieved. These good people are of special concern to the
Church which has sought for so long to relieve their misery
and to open the door to a life filled with hope rather than
Monsignor Hoye added:
"The thousands of Cubans who came to the U.S. during
the Mariel boat lift of 1980 have made a remarkable record
of adjustment since their entry. Despite this, they have
been deprived of any opportunity to obtain the benefits
accorded permanent resident aliens. Among such benefits is
the right to send for family members including spouses and
children from whom they have been separated for well over
three years. This legislation will make it possible for
families to be reunited, a cornerstone of our basic U.S.
Mr. Chairman, H.R. 4853 is a just, carefully-crafted, and
long-awaited solution to the plight of this limited group of
Cubans and Haitians. The United States Catholic Conference
congratulates Chairman Rodino on both the spirit and on the
technical substance of this legislation. The Cuban/Haitian
Adjustment Act of 1984 is not compromised by rigid legalisms or
narrow formalities, yet it restricts the benefits of this
legislation to the most meritorious Haitians and Cubans.
Chairman Rodino's legislation will grant permanent residence
to approximately 125,000 Cuban, and approximately 31,000 Haitian
boat people who arrived during the comparable periods in 1980 and
1981. These Cuban and Haitian refugees risked their lives to
flee from misery and repression to this country. However, it is
the unconscionable treatment that they received on arrival and
the still-unfulfilled promises of our government to regularize
their status that makes their situation unique. The vast
majority of the Cubans from Mariel and the comparable and smaller
group of Haitian refugees have been repeatedly promised that
their "entrant" status would be converted to permanent residency
While we applaud this long overdue regularization of the
status of the Haitian and Cuban "entrants," Chairman Rodino's
bill intends to include as beneficiaries a relatively small group
of additional refugees, and herein lies the real sophistication
and humanity of this bill. Without greatly increasing the number
of beneficiaries, this legislation eliminates the arbitrariness
and other limitations that a rigid application of the definition
of the term "entrant" would entail. The United States Catholic
Conference is absolutely committed to the proposition that the
small group of Cubans and Haitians who arrived subsequent to the
initial granting of "entrant" status should also be regularized,
since they, in many cases, suffered far more than those who
happened to arrive in the United States before the formation of
this "entrant" status.
Of particular, and perhaps even of primary concern to the
United States Catholic Conference, is the group of over two
thousand Haitian refugees who were detained for up to 18 months
in isolated locations around the United States as part of a
detention program that was universally condemned and that is now
universally regretted. These Haitian boat people have been
subjected to repeated harsh and discriminatory treatment since
their arrival on our shores. Now is the time to find the courage
and compassion to recognize their suffering and the equities that
they have accumulated in our communities and grant them permanent
residence status. It is absolutely essential that the bill's
definition of eligible applicant be preserved as it is now
stated. This definition is not only equitable, but is also
clearly understood and easily applied. It is the clear intent of
the bill to include all those who fall within these commonsense
An exhaustive study* recently published by Florida
International University supported by a grant from the United
States Catholic Conference states, in part:
"This study reveals that the Haitians who are in South
Florida have the education, training, and skills to
* "Haitians Released From Krome: Their Prospects For Adaptation
And Integration In South Florida", Latin American and Caribbean
Center, Florida International University, Occasional Papers
Series Dialogues, #24, March 2, 1984, pp. 34, 35.
potentially contribute to American society. Moreover they
are firmly committed to remaining in the U.S. Only the
most dramatic changes in both political and economic
conditions might entice them to return to Haiti. Other
evidence further indicates that if they were to return to
Haiti they have a high likelihood of facing persecution by
Haitian officials. Because many of them left Haiti
illegally, Haitian officials interrogate them closely and
may imprison them upon return."
"The U.S. government, however, has had a consistent,
continuing policy of deterring Haitians from coming to or
remaining in the U.S. The imprisonment of Haitians in
Krome was part of this. For the Entrants, Congress has yet
to act upon President Carter's promise to provide a
permanent immigration status to the Cubans and Haitians who
arrived in 1980. Most of the Krome Haitians are still
having their applications to remain in the U.S. adjudicated
by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The
uncertainty of their status has undeniably impeded their
adaptation and integration. In many cases the impediment
is direct--employers refuse to hire them. In most cases it
is less direct--psychological and emotional stress for the
individual. They cannot return to their homeland to see
their wives or husbands or children left behind. Also,
because they have no permanent immigration status in the
U.S., the INS will not allow them to re-enter the U.S."
"Provision of permanent immigration status would
protect them from abuse in Haiti and greatly help the
Haitians' efforts to adapt to and integrate into U.S.
This study concludes:
"Permanent resident status for Krome Haitians and
Haitian Entrants should be provided by the U.S. Congress.
Returning Haitians to Haiti would likely subject them to
persecution by Haitian officials. Moreover, permanent
resident status would assist in the adaptation of Haitians
by alleviating the psychological uncertainty they currently
face, promoting family development and bringing many
Haitians out from the underground. Moreover, if a large
population exists which is afraid of the law because of
their uncertain legal status, then enforcing the law,
including labor law, becomes more difficult. It would
further deter others from exploiting Haitians because of
their uncertain legal status. Congressman Rodino with
support from Greater Miami United along with the National
Coalition for Haitian Refugees, the Congressional Black
Caucus and others has recently proposed legislation which
would legalize the status of both the Krome and Entrant
Haitians. Passage of this legislation would significantly
aid the Haitians in their efforts to adapt to and integrate
into U.S. society."
Finally, Mr. Chairman, it is essential that this
Subcommittee clarify all potential ambiguities that could arise
in the application of this proposed legislation. I ask that your
Subcommittee formally confirm the clear intent of this
legislation in its application to include as eligible to apply
two distinct sub-groups of Cubans and Haitians whose numbers are
small, but who simply must be included in the coverage of this
legislation for reasons of justice, humanity and administrative
The clear purpose of this bill is that persons who received
the immigration designation of "Cuban-Haitian entrant (status
pending)" are to receive permanent residence along with other
Cubans and Haitians (subsection (b)(1)). Similarly, the intent
of subsection (c) is to exclude from coverage nonimmigrants who
were lawfully admitted to the United States and who subsequently
overstayed their visas while never making application for
political asylum in the United States. Unfortunately, a rigid
application of subsection (c) could arguably undermine the clear-
on-its-face spirit of this bill. A number of those persons
officially designated by the Carter Administration as "entrants"
had previously been admitted to the United States as
nonimmigrants before 1980 and never applied for political asylum
because of the official assurances of status that they had
received. A merely formalistic reading of subsection (c) could
be seen to support the position that these "entrants" could not
be adjusted under H.R. 4853.
This clearly unintended result can be avoided by reaffirming
the initial intent of this legislation that the class to be the
recipients of permanent residence status under this legislation
include all "entrants". This can be done by adding one clause to
subsection (c) which would then read:
"The benefits provided by subsection (a) shall not apply to
an alien who was admitted to the United States as a
nonimmigrant, unless the alien has filed an application for
asylum with, or was accorded Cuban-Haitian entrant (status
pending) by the Immigration and Naturalization Service
before January 1, 1982 (addition underlined)."
The second potential ambiguity in coverage in H.R. 4853
involves the small group of Haitians who would have clearly been
beneficiaries of this legislation if their files had not been
lost or misplaced by the Immigration and Naturalization
Service. The Act does provide benefits to all otherwise eligible
Cubans and Haitians "...with respect to whom any record was
established by the Immigration and Naturalization Service before
January 1, 1982 (emphasis added)." However, during the
Immigration and Naturalization Service's "Haitian Program," a
significant number of files were misplaced as Haitian refugees
were transferred from prison to isolated prison around the
country. Clearly, coverage under this legislation must be
available to those Haitians whose original records were destroyed
or lost, for whom other evidence of eligibility exists.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we enthusiastically support the
clear intent of this legislation to grant permanent residence on
an equal basis to these Cuban and Haitian refugee boat people in
order to implement past promises and to correct past
injustices. We thank all of you who have encouraged and
supported this legislation for your humanity and sense of
justice. The bill that we have before us today is the just,
carefully-crafted, and long-overdue solution to the
unconscionable plight of a relatively small group of Cubans and
Haitians. The time is now for the United States Congress to
reaffirm this country's commitment to remain a safe haven for the
oppressed, and we ask that this bill be passed into law
Mr. MAZZOu. Thank you, Bishop.
Councilman Donald Payne is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Donald
Payne and I am representing Bishop Philip Cousin, president of the
National Council of Churches and I am presenting his statement.
Bishop Cousin sends his sincerest regret that he was unavoidably
detained today. I would ask that his statement be included in the
Mr. MAZZOU. Without objection.
Mr. PAYNE. For further introduction, Mr. Chairman, I am a
member of the Newark Municipal Council. I have known and
worked with the Church World Service and its parent body, the
National Council of Churches for a number of years through my
position as a board member of the International Division of the
YMCA, which is also a member of the Church World Service.
I have also had the privilege for the past 12 years to serve as a
member of the World Alliance of YMCA's Committee on Refugee
and Rehabilitation, out of Geneva, Switzerland, and serve as its im-
mediate past chairman.
Church World Service and its 31-member denominations are
strongly supportive of H.R. 4853, the Honorable Chairman Rodino's
Cuban/Haitian adjustment bill. We support it strongly.
I was going to say that as a member of the 10th Congressional
District of New Jersey, Congressman Rodino is my Congressman
and I feel privileged to be before this committee supporting his leg-
Mr. MAZZOU. Mr. Payne, I say parenthetically, he is a Congress-
man to many of us who don't live in the 10th District of New
Jersey as well.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you.
It is really unfortunate that this legislation is even necessary at
this time. It rights wrongs which should have been addressed a
long time ago. This bill is important for a number of reasons, as
you will see in Bishop's statement-Bishop Cousin's statement, and
points out the following: First, it provides long-awaited permanent
residence to Cubans and Haitians who find themselves currently in
a legal limbo.
We in the church circles call it an immigration purgatory. The
Cubans and Haitians covered by Chairman Rodino's bill have done
well. We have many Cubans and Haitians in Newark and we are
very proud of their accomplishments and achievements. They are
very proud people and they are certainly a positive influence in
With all due respect to the members from Florida and elsewhere,
we in Newark like to think of this as our bill, benefitting our resi-
dents in Newark and East Orange, which is another community
which borders on us and has a tremendous number of Haitians.
We feel it appropriate and desirable that the Cubans and Hai-
tians in Newark and elsewhere receive permanent residence. We
want them not only to have the opportunity to be contributing
members of our communities, which they already are, but we also
want them to be on track to becoming good citizens some day.
Second, this bill is also extremely important for its inclusion of
those who entered the United States after the so-called 1980
Cuban/Haitian entrant program. We think it absolutely essential
that this class be included in this legislation and I commend Chair-
man Rodino for doing so.
There are few more shameful episodes in our immigration histo-
ry than the treatment given Haitians in 1981 and 1982. As you
know better than me, they were thrown into our jails for a year
and a half, were run through mass proceedings without legal coun-
sel in closed-door, so-called kangaroo courts, and it is high time we
set the record straight with H.R. 4853.
We have a lot of Haitians in Newark and this provision is ex-
tremely important to them and the rest of us in the city.
The third and final point is that I would just like to strongly
urge this committee to report this bill out favorably and quickly. I
am told that it is perhaps the intention of those concerned to offer
this bill as an amendment to H.R. 1510 if necessary.
This would be appropriate, in our view, as it would provide for
an adjustment, rather than legalization for this group. As Bishop
Cousin's statement indicates, we are dealing with a class whose
members are already known to the Immigration Service and whose
equities in the system are well known. Their adjustment can and
should be made to take effect as of January 1, 1982.
Again, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate this opportunity to appear
before the subcommittee in support of H.R. 4853. The subcommit-
tee is to be commended for taking the time to consider this very
Thank you, again, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Bishop Cousin follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF BISHOP PHILIP R. COUSIN, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF
CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN THE U.S.A.
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to have the opportunity to testify in support of Chair-
man Peter Rodino's bill (H.R. 4853) to adjust the status of certain Cubans and Hai-
tians to permanent residence. As you know, the National Council of Churches of
Christ, of which I am President, and its 31 member national Protestant commun-
ions, have over the years maintained a considerable ministry to Cubans and Hai-
tians seeking haven in this country. Our work with and on behalf of these refugees
primarily has been conducted through out relief, development, and immigration
arm, Church World Service. Our ministry includes sponsorship, pastoral care, legal
aid, and advocacy for due process and justice for these refugees. Chairman Rodino's
bill is long-awaited relief for all of us, especially the Cubans and Haitians who have
suffered so much.
OVERVIEW OF PROTESTANT CHURCH INVOLVEMENT
Church World Service (CWS) of the National Council of Churches has over the
years sponsored some 65,000 Cuban and Haitian refugees. As the bulk of these refu-
gees entered the United States through South Florida, CWS has maintained an
office in Miami since the early 1960s. This office continues to this day to provide
assistance to refugees in that area, and sponsors those few Haitians, Cubans, and
o+ho- "tionalities being released from the INS Krome North detention facility.
'ine record of this country in responding to the Cuban influx of the 1960s is truly
remarkable. Our churches in New York, Chicago, Miami, and other parts of the
country offered in large scale sponsorship and support for the Cubans entering the
country, contributing to the now-celebrated success of the Cuban community in this
country. To this day, we can walk through major cities in America and point to
thriving business establishment which were begun with support from churches and
made to succeed with Cuban determination.
In that decade was passed the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. We strongly sup-
ported that legislation-just as we have similar legislation pertaining to other refu-
gee groups-as we felt it an important step in permitting the Cubans to become
fully part of the American policy and on the track toward citizenship.
The decade of the 1970s was a different story. In late 1972, the first boat of refu-
gees from Haiti arrived on our shores. An editorial in The Miami News of December
12, 1972, proved to be hauntingly prophetic when it stated:
"A moment of truth has arrived for our local immigration officials who so casual-
ly go about their almost daily task of processing Cuban citizens landing in South
Florida after having escaped the Castro regime. Should the procedure be any differ-
ent for the dark-skinned Haitians?"
Certainly, discrimination has been a theme consistently raised by critics of our
government's response over the past dozen years to the Haitian boat people. It was
first our Black churches which raised this accusation, and it was further cited offi-
cially in a resolution passed by the Governing Board of the National Council of
Churches of Christ in February 1974.
Additionally, arguments noting the discriminatory treatment of the Haitians have
made up an important part of the legal suits filed on behalf of the Haitians. Indeed,
financial and other support from our churches for such cases as Louis v. Nelson was
It is undeniable, for example, that until the last year there has been no other na-
tional group to suffer such prolonged detention. In the 1970s, Haitians were held in
county prisons for months on end. And in the 1980s, the so-called "Spellman class"
was held in detention for a year and a half until Federal Judge Eugene Spellman
ordered their release.
Further, the denial of such due process rights as access to legal counsel, notifica-
tion of the right to apply for asylum, and more was for many years commonplace
when it came to the Haitians. As early as 1974, The Miami Herald (3/15/74) decried
what the newspaper termed the INS "20-minute interview" of Haitian asylum appli-
cants, in which The Herald noted that no attorney was present, there were no hear-
ings conducted before immigration judges, no opportunity existed to present wit-
nesses, and there was no chance to present documentation of persecution. These
practices were continually challenged by our churches.
In November 1977, the National Council of Churches of Christ was unsuccessful
in reaching an agreement with the Immigration and Naturalization Service which
temporarily ameliorated many of these conditions. The INS agreed to release Hai-
tians from detention and to grant them work authorization. The INS altered its pro-
cedures so as to permit Haitian hearings before an immigration judge. This agree-
ment came at a time in which court battle against the INS on these matters had
reached the U.S. Supreme Court. However, by the summer of 1978, the Service re-
voked employment authorization for Haitians and began hurried deportation pro-
ceedings. This led the following summer, on July 23, to a decision by Federal Judge
King in Miami to issue a temporary restraining order against further deportations
of Haitian asylum seekers. His decision was followed a few days later by a prelimi-
nary injunction by Federal Judge Hoevela, also of Miami, against the revocation of
The basis for church concern for the Haitians was a belief that their claims for
asylum were generally legitimate and nonfrivolous. In fact, the National Council of
Churches of Christ, and its Church World Service department, in 1974 and 1975 en-
gaged in an exercise of collecting from 300 detained Haitians in the United States
affidavits which substantiate this belief. The affidavits note political imprisonment
in Haiti, torture, and maltreatment by the "Ton Ton Macoutes" and other govern-
The human rights problems in Haiti have been well chronicled since the accession
to power of Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier in 1957, and persisting to date under his
son, President-for-life "Baby Doc" Duvalier. As early as 1962, President John F.
Kennedy recognized this, and suspended aid to that country until Haiti holds legiti-
mate and free elections, curtails the Ton Ton Macoutes, and discloses fully the uses
by the government of U.S. Government assistance. Assistance to Haiti was then re-
sumed in 1964.
Since that time, a number of groups, including Amnesty International, the Law-
yers Committee for International Human Rights, and others, have been consistent
reporters of the Human rights problems in Haiti. Numerous delegation visits to that
country, including one most recently by representatives of the Congressional Black
Caucus, have highlighted some of the human rights problems there. These actions
led to such important court cases as Jean v. Meisner and, later, Louis v. Nelson.
As the Subcommittee is well aware, the decade of the 1980s has been a problemat-
ic one in the area of first asylum, beginning with the Cuban-Haitian "Mariel" boat
lift of 1980. Members of the Subcommittee-in particualr those from Florida-know
well the problems Florida, as well as the nation, faced in that year. All of us, the
churches included, were not adequately prepared to meet the need for emergency
food, clothing, shelter, and other services which the boat lift demanded. The prob-
lems which the Cubans and Haitians faced on top of the trauma of their journeys on
the high seas were ones no human being should have to endure.
However, the problems which these refugees encountered did not encompass only
shortcomings in service delivery. The classification of the 1980 arrivals as "en-
trants" placed these individuals in a kind of immigration purgatory, what the press
has widely termed a "legal limbo." This has meant that for four years now, these
persons have found it much more difficult than other legal residents or legally-rec-
ognized refugees to obtain jobs and to integrate into U.S. communities, and they
have also been unable to pursue permanent residence and citizenship.
Mr. Rodino's bill rightly rectifies this injustice.
Those who came in 1981 bring additional equities and merits to bear. They ar-
rived by identical means as their compatriots who came the previous year, i.e., by
boat going primarily to South Florida. However, rather than receive entrant status,
many were imprisoned and deported.
It became apparent by the spring of 1981 that the INS had implemented a new
policy with respect to the Haitians of detaining them while they applied for asylum.
As the Krome North detention camp outside Miami filled to capacity, the INS
began using other Service facilities and federal prisons to hold the Haitians, gener-
ally in remote areas away from legal counsel and immigration judges. By the end of
1981, 2000 Haitians were held in New York, West Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Ken-
tucky, Puerto Rico, and, of course, Florida.
Concerned about their plight, religious and other groups began meeting to consid-
er their situation. What emerged in March 1982, was the National Emergency Coali-
tion for Haitian Refugees, of which we are a founding member. While maintaining
our interest in ensuring general due process for the detained Haitians, our primary
focus-and that of the Coalition-became one of gaining release for the Haitians.
Finally, in the summer of 1982, Judge Eugene Spellmen ordered the Haitians re-
leased from detention while they pursued their asylum claims.
Voluntary agencies, including Church World Service, cooperated with the court in
the release program. The Haitians were placed with sponsors in areas in which, for
the most part, they could receive competent legal counsel and in which there exist-
ed a Haitian community.
The trauma which this population faced did not end with their release from eight-
een-months imprisonment. They and their sponsors faced the difficult task of locat-
ing employment, with employers reticent to hire Haitians given their tenuous immi-
gration status. Also, the imminent possibility of deportation to Haiti left many of
the Haitians in a state of uncertainty. Indeed, a few from among the Spellman class
have been deported.
THE NECESSITY OF THE RODINO BILL
Chairman Rodino's bill is essential for a number of reasons.
First, it appropriately ends the ad hoc "entrant" status in favor of permanent resi-
dence.-For the past four years, these Cubans and Haitians have had stamped to
their 1-94 entry document "Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)." The "pend-
ing" designation remains as a reminder that then-President Jimmy Carter, whose
administration coined the term "entrant," promised these refugees that their status
would soon be adjusted to permanent residence.
Thus, H.R. 4853 represents a promise fulfilled for those entrants who, as described
in paragraph (aX2), are "otherwise eligible to receive an immigrant visa" with the
relevant exclusions of the law applicable.
Second, the bill recognizes the necessity of encompassing those Haitians and
Cubans who arrived after the entrants program, but before January 1, 1982.-The
conditions which this class of individuals faced are unprecedented and we cannot
adequately underscore how absolutely critical it is that this legislation covers the
The treatment which these individuals received was briefly described above. They
arrived, just as their compatriots in 1980, seeking asylum in the United States.
However, unlike the 1980 entrants, they were imprisoned for a year and a half.
Almost every member of this subcommittee had Haitians incarcerated in his state.
Federal courts have found their detention unlawful and discriminatory.
Some among the class were shipped back to Haiti after hurried, back room mass
hearings, without benefit of counsel, in what the press appropriately dubbed "kan-
garoo courts." Again, the courts had to put a halt to this practice.
These are but a few of the merits and equities which pertain to this class. We
commend Chairman Rodino for recognizing them. As a result, again, we support as
absolutely essential the inclusion in this legislation of Cubans and Haitians up to
January 1, 1982.
Third, the bill provides for an "adjustment" rather than a "legalization. "-This
difference here, in our view, is not mere semantics.
The individuals which this legislation encompasses came here, we would argue,
seeking asylum, a legitimate basis for entry into the United States. This Subcommit-
tee is on record, as of last year, with respect to the Cuban-Haitian entrants, agree-
ing that their entry was legal. So, in that sense a "relegalization" or annesty is not
Furthermore, this population has records with and is known to the Immigration
and Naturalization Service. In this sense, H.R. 4853 is not a legitimation of the pres-
ence of an unknown population. Unlike the population which would benefit from a
legalization, the INS already has the records for this class documenting their contin-
uous residence, their admissibility or inadmissibility, and more.
Finally, an adjustment of this sort appropriately confers benefits different from
the beneficiaries of a legalization, whose legal presence in the United States would
begin only upon legalization.
Primary among these is that the adjustment program in H.R. 4853 establishes the
record of permanent residence as of January 1, 1982, rather than as of the date of
application. We commend Chairman Rodino for including this provision in his bill.
Such a provision recognizes that the beneficiaries of the bill are known to the INS
to have been continuously resident since 1980 and 1981. It does not inordinately
delay the ability of the class members to gain permanent residence and to be on the
track toward citizenship.
Finally, the bill is desirable for not closing the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.-
Appropriately, the Rodino bill is a measure to benefit a specific class over a specific
time frame. The Cuban Adjustment Act, on the other hand, is law designed to deal
with the potentially ongoing situation of arrivals in the U.S. from Cuba, and there-
fore should be retained. Granted, the Adjustment Act itself could use some adjust-
ments, but the basic law we believe should remain intact.
Mr. Chairman, I want again to convey to the Subcommittee the strong support
which H.R. 4853 has received from Protestant Churches across the country. We
stand fully behind the bill, and urge the subcommittee to report it favorably and
Mr. MAZZOu. Thank you, Councilman Payne.
Now, Rabbi Tanenbaum.
Rabbi TANENBAUM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and other distin-
guished members of the subcommittee for inviting the views of the
American Jewish Committee on H.R. 4853, the Cuban/Haitian Ad-
justment Act of 1984.
My name is Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum. I am the director of
international relations for the American Jewish Committee. It is a
privilege to appear before you today to express my strongest sup-
port for the Cuban/Haitian Adjustment Act of 1984, as introduced
by Judiciary Chairman Peter Rodino.
The American Jewish Committee has long advocated the necessi-
ty of granting permanent residence to the limited group of Haitian
and Cuban boat people defined in Chairman Rodino's bill, and at
our annual meeting in New York last year, we adopted a strongly
worded resolution urging the early passage of this legislation.
Mr. Chairman, American Jewish organizations, the American
Jewish people in this society, are particularly sensitive to and con-
cerned with the plight of refugees stranded without a homeland.
The Jewish people know only too well the human consequences of
policies of indefinite detention and the interdiction of boats in
In 1939, just prior to the Second World War, oppressed Jews
from Germany also took to the sea in search of refuge and were
36-483 0 84 5
denied entry to the United States. That indifference to human suf-
fering resulted in the death of thousands and became a moral
blotch on the escutcheon of liberty of this great democracy.
The American Jewish Committee has, for the last 3 years, placed
a very high priority on finding a just and equitable solution that
would end the horrible dilemma and suffering experienced by the
Haitian refugee boat people. We have actively been involved in the
defense of the fundamental legal and human rights of these Hai-
tians since the first boatload of fearful refugees landed in southern
Florida in 1972.
We applaud the efforts of Chairman Rodino and other cosponsors
of this long-awaited legislation, both because of its comprehensive
coverage and because of its humane spirit and formed by respect
for the fundamental principles of equal treatment before the law.
We are convinced that no lesser coverage would rectify the con-
tinuing tragedy of these boat people and we congratulate the bill's
sponsors for their precise wording of these provisions.
The American Jewish Committee is particularly supportive of
the legislation, precisely because its comprehensive class definition
provides for Cubans and Haitians who entered our country before
1982. This coverage is not restricted solely to the regularization of
narrower Cuban/Haitian entering class of refugees. It is essential
to fully correct the discriminatory treatment that all the refugees
have thus far received.
In addition to endorsing the spirit of fundamental fairness and
humanitarian concern in this legislation, the American Jewish
Committee agrees with its provisions as absolutely essential to
grant permanent residency to both entrants and to persons with re-
spect to whom any record was established by the Immigration
Service before January 1, 1982.
A more restrictive class definition will simply not correct the in-
justices suffered by the Haitian boat people.
Mr. Chairman, we are proud of our association with the cause of
the Haitian and Cuban boat people and we are pleased to state our
unequivocal support for this legislation. However, we are particu-
larly concerned that it must be as comprehensive as possible in the
breadth of its coverage.
Mr. Chairman, we affirm these views, not as a matter of charity
or being nice to these unfortunate victims of injustice. We do so be-
cause in an issue such as this, the quality of the soul of our great
Republic is at stake.
Thank you again for this welcome opportunity to appear and ex-
press the views of my organization on this issue of great concern to
all of those who wish justice to prevail in our treatment of refugees
from all parts of the world.
[The prepared statement of Rabbi Tanenbaum follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RABBI MARC H. TANENBAUM, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS, AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and other distinguished Members
of the Subcommittee for inviting the views of the American
Jewish Committee on H.R. 4853, the Cuban-Haitian Adjustment
Act of 1984. My name is Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum and I am the
Director of International Relations for the American Jewish
Committee. I am honored to appear before you today to express
my strongest support for the Cuban-Haitian Adjustment Act of
1984 as introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino.
The A.J.C. has long advocated the necessity of granting permanent
residence to the limited group of Haitian and Cuban boat people
defined in Chairman Rodino's bill, and at our annual meeting in
New York last week we adopted a strongly worded resolution urging
the early passage of this legislation.
Mr. Chairman, American Jewish organizations are particularly
sensitive to and concerned with the plight of refugees stranded
without a homeland. The Jewish people know only too well the
human consequences of policies of indefinite detention, and the
interdiction of boats in international waters. In 1939, just
prior to the Second World War, oppressed Jews from Germany also
took to the sea in search of refuge and were denied entry to
the United States. That callousness to human suffering resulted
in the death of thousands, and became a moral blotch on the
escutcheon of liberty of this great democracy.
The A.J.C. has for the last three years placed a very high
priority- on finding a just and equitable solution that would end
the horrible dilemma and suffering experienced by the Haitian
refugee boat people. We have actively been involved in the
defense of the fundamental legal and human rights of these
Haitians since the first boatload of fearful refugees landed in
southern Florida in 1972. We applaud the efforts of Chairman
Rodino and the other co-sponsors of this long-awaited legislation
both because of its comprehensive coverage and because of its
humane spirit informed by respect for fundamental principles of
equal treatment before the law. In a recent letter complimenting
Chairman Rodino for his leadership on this issue of fundamental
importance to the A.J.C., we wrote;
"The unique plight and legal limbo of this restricted
number of refugees can only be satisfactorily resolved
through a grant of permanent resident status as you
propose. The American Jewish Committee strongly agrees
that fundamental principles of justice and humanity
demand that both the Cuban refugees from Mariel and
the far smaller group of Haitian refugees who arrived
slightly later must have their legal status regular-
ized not only because of the tragic nature of their
plight and the treatment they have received but also
because they have been repeatedly linked with the
Cuban-Haitain "entrant" program of the Carter Admini-
stration. The great majority of the class of Cubans
and Haitians who would benefit from the Rodino legis-
lation long ago have been granted a temporary "entrant"
status and a promise of legal residence."
In the same letter commending Chairman Rodino for his
initiative, we emphasized the crucial importance of the specific
provisions of the Cuban-Haitian Adjustment Act. We are convinced
that no lesser coverage would rectify the continuing tragedy
of these boat people, and we congratulate the bill's sponsors
for their precise wording of these provisions.
The A.J.C. is particularly supportive of the legislation
precisely because its comprehensive class definition provides
for Cubans and Haitians who entered our country before 1982.
This coverage is not restricted solely to the regularization
of the narrower Cuban-Haitian "entrant" class of refugees. It
is essential to fully correct the discriminatory treatment that
all the refugees have thus far received. In addition to
endorsing the spirit of fundamental fairness and humanitarian
concerning this legislation, the A.J.C. agrees with its pro-
visions as absolutely essential to grant permanent residency
to both (1) "entrants" and (2) persons with respect to whom
any record was established by the Immigration Service before
January 1, 1982. A more restricted class definition will simply
not correct the injustices suffered by the Haitian boat people.
Mr. Chairman, we are proud of our association with the
cause of the Haitian and Cuban boat people and we are delighted
to state our unequivocalsupport for this legislation. However,
we are particularly concerned that it must be as comprehensive
as possible in the breadth of its coverage.
Mr. Chairman, we affirm these views not as a matter of
charity, of being "nice" to these unfortunate victims of
injustice, we do so because the quality of the soul of our
great republic is at stake.
Thank you again for this welcome opportunity to appear
and express the views of the American Jewish Committee on
this issue of great concern to all those who wish justice to
prevail in our treatment of refugees from all parts of the world.
Mr. MAZZOU. Thank you, Rabbi, and let me salute all three of
you. Each one was well within the 5 minutes and I salute you. I
know-I personally know how hard it is to compress and condense
a statement to 5 minutes in length. It is extremely more difficult
than to prepare a long speech, so let me thank you for that.
Let me yield to my chairman for any questions or observations
he would have.
Mr. RODINO. I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I am going
to take the time of the committee except to commend all these gen-
tlemen and the organizations they represent. They have really re-
sponded to the plight of these people and have eloquently stated
the cause. I don't think that there are any questions that I might
ask that would enlighten us any more than the very, very fine
statements that have been and will be made in support of the legis-
Mr. MAZZOu. They are very eloquent.
My friend from Michigan is recognized for a statement or ques-
Mr. CROCKETT. No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MAZZOu. Thank you.
Well, I think you gentlemen have seen from my two panelists
here that you have answered the questions in advance. Let me just
perhaps ask one quick question of anyone who would care to re-
spond-or all of you-and that is about the second part of the bill
which doesn't deal with regularization of the Cuban/Haitians who
come to the country, but deals with the question of issuance of
visas to Cubans who are currently in Cuba, but aren't in that class
of close relatives which are now being cleared by the State Depart-
Have any of your organizations taken a stand on that?
Mr. PAYNE. The position of Church World Services is that they
are in favor of visas to be issued. I think that any kind of liberal-
ization of current standards to allow the country to once again be
the place where we send people who are striving for democracy
would be provided with visas.
Mr. MAZZOU. I would assume from that answer, too, though, that
this phase doesn't rise to the same magnitude of intensity and im-
portance as the first phase. Is that a fair statement?
Mr. PAYNE. That is right.
Mr. MAZZOL. Bishop Bevilacqua.
Bishop BEVILACQUA. I think I would have to go along with that,
also, that they be treated equally like any other country. It isn't
the part of the bill that rouses the compassion that the other
Mr. MAZZOU. Thank you.
Rabbi TANENBAUM. We have not taken a formal position, but I
know the sense of our leadership would support every possible act
that would make possible the reunification of families. Anyone who
has had any experience in oppressive societies, restrictive societies,
feels a profound sense of obligation to open up every conceivable
human opportunity for people to achieve freedom; to achieve
human dignity by reconciliation with their families and to live in
an atmosphere of democracy. We would certainly support that.
Mr. MAZZOLI. Thank you very much and thank you, again, all
We will now take a break until about 11 and we will have to
take part in our Democratic caucus.
We stand in recess until 11.
Mr. MAZZOLI. The subcommittee will come to order.
Because of changes in part dictated upon us, we have altered our
hearing list. We now ask to come forward Mr. Norman Hill of the
A. Philip Randolph Institute; Mr. Jay Mazur, secretary-treasurer,
of the International Ladies Garment Workers, AFL-CIO; Mr. Mi-
chael S. Hooper, executive director, National Coalition for Haitian
Refugees; and Mr. Eduardo Padron, cochair of the Greater Miami
Most of you were in the room this morning and heard that we
are operating with a very limited time, so if you could, we would
appreciate your compressing your statements to 5 minutes each
and any written statements are now made a part of the record.
Mr. Hill, you are recognized.
TESTIMONY OF NORMAN HILL, PRESIDENT, A. PHILIP RAN-
DOLPH INSTITUTE; JAY MAZUR, SECRETARY-TREASURER,
INTERNATIONAL LADIES GARMENT WORKERS UNION, AFL-CIO;
MICHAEL S. HOOPER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COA-
LITION FOR HAITIAN REFUGEES; AND EDUARDO PADRON, CO-
CHAIRMAN, GREATER MIAMI UNITED
Mr. HiLL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am here on behalf of
Bayard Rustin, the national chairman of the Randolph Institute. I
am president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. He sends his re-
grets because a sudden illness which we hope will be of short dura-
tion prevented him from being here.
Mr. MAZZOu. I am sorry. We admire him very much and hope
that it is short.
Mr. HiLL. He very much wanted to be here and expresses his re-
grets. I will now read his statement.
Mr. MAZZOLI. Thank you.
Mr. HiLL. Thank you, Mr. chairman, Representative Fish and the
other members of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and
International Law for holding these hearings to consider the
Cuban/Haitian Adjustment Act of 1984, H.R. 4853, introduced by
Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino.
This legislation is the long-overdue civil rights remedy to the
tragic plight of Cubans and Haitians who have come to our shores
seeking safety and have already waited too long for an equal
chance in our society.
My name is Bayard Rustin and I am chairman of the A. Philip
Randolph Institute. The A. Philip Randolph Institute's 160 chap-
ters nationwide today remain committed to the principles espoused
by our founder, A. Philip Randolph, including a commitment to po-
litical democracy for all people, whether in the United States or
I know that A. Philip Randolph would have enthusiastically en-
dorsed our efforts to place the concern for refugees high on the
civil rights agenda. My own involvement in civil rights and refugee
affairs spans over 40 years, beginning with my active involvement
in the effort to protect the fundamental rights of Japanese Ameri-
cans who were interned during World War II.
I am sad for our country when I am reminded of the parallels
between this shameful episode and the recent long-term detention
of the Haitian refugee boat people. It is from this long commitment
to justice that in March 1982, I joined with over 40 colleagues from
prominent national civil rights, religious, labor, and human rights
organizations to respond to the intolerable detention of Haitian ref-
ugee boat people by forming a National Coalition for Haitian Refu-
gees with the specific aim of ending this dreadful mistreatment
and furthering the public consideration of legal status for the Hai-
I am proud to be joined on this panel today by Michael Hooper,
the executive director of this organization. We remain committed
to the goals of justice and equal protection for the Haitian refugees
and I am delighted to have this opportunity today to personally
thank Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino for having the
courage and vision to continue to play a leadership role in the
effort to correct the intolerable plight of the Cuban and Haitian
boat people through the introduction of the Cuban/Haitian Adjust-
ment Act of 1984.
In gratitude to Chairman Rodino, and with heartfelt thanks, we
strongly support this legislation. I also want to thank you, Chair-
man Mazzoli, and the other subcommittee members who have al-
ready joined Chairman Rodino as cosponsors of this essential legis-
The Haitian refugee boat people are the first numerically signifi-
cant group of black refugees ever to seek safety on our shores from
brutal repression and degrading economic chaos. Our treatment of
this group of boat people is, technology, significant as a test of the
fairness and equal application of our refugee laws to peoples from
all nations who no longer are allowed full participation in their
Our treatment of the Haitian refugees is to test our Nation's will
to carry out the much-applauded reforms contained in the Refugee
Act of 1980, its attempt to evenhandedly provide uniform criteria
to discern who shall obtain safe haven in our country.
Our treatment of this group of black boat people has provided
our Nation a test, and it is a test that thus far we have sadly not
From the first boatload of Haitian refugees who landed in south-
ern Florida in 1972, the Immigration Service has speeded the rejec-
tion of Haitian claims for political asylum and hastened their de-
portation back to Haiti, often at overwhelming social cost and
untold suffering. Wholesale violations of civil rights have occurred
in the process.
In 1980, a Federal judge in Miami found the INS treatment of
the Haitian refugees so repugnant that he ordered a stop to their
proceedings and retrials for over 4,000 Haitian plaintiffs. But this
unprecedented mistreatment did not stop.
In fact, with the illegal detention program promulgated in 1981,
the singling out of the Haitian refugees for particular abuse esca-
lated. It took a court order handed down over a year later to re-
lease almost 2,000 Haitians who were imprisoned pursuant to this
This unprecedented treatment meted out to these black boat
people is a civil rights light for our country, that can only be satis-
factorily remedied by granting permanent residency to these
people who have been so maltreated.
Chairman Rodino's Cuban/Haitian Adjustment Act would do just
that. Chairman Rodino's bill is simple, limited and fair. H.R. 4853
would grant permanent residence to Cubans and Haitians who ar-
rived in our country before January 1, 1982, and for whom any
record was established with the Immigration Service before that
This comprehensive coverage is the very reason that Chairman
Rodino's bill has received the wholehearted support of every major
civil rights organization in the country aware of the plight of
Cuban and Haitian refugees.
Mr. MAZZOLI. Mr. Hill, I am sorry, could you summarize, per-
haps, the remainder of Mr. Rustin's statement.
Mr. HILL. We feel that not only is the bill timely; it is right, just
and fair. It refers to a specific group which unfairly has been let
down and promises to rectify a longstanding injustice.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rustin follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF BAYARD RUSTIN, CHAIRMAN, A. PHILIP RANDOLPH INSTITUTE
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Representative Fish and the other
Members of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Inter-
national.Law, for holding these hearings to consider the Cuban-
Haitian Adjustment Act of 1984, H.R. 4853, introduced by
Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino. This legislation
is the long overdue civil rights remedy to the tragic plight
of Cubans and Haitians who have come to our shores seeking
safety and have already waited for far too long for an equal
chance in our society.
My name is Bayard Rustin, and I am the Chaiman of the A.
Philip Randolph Institute. The A.P.R.I., as many of you know,
was established almost twenty years ago following the passage
of the civil rights legislation of the 1960s which had such a
significant impact on the ability of the black community in
our country to realize in their own lives the American ideal
of political freedom and economic justice for all people.
Today, our 160 chapters around the country remain dedicated
to the principles espoused by our founder, A. Philip Randolph,
including a commitment to political democracy for all people
whether in the United States or abroad. I know that A. Philip
Randolph would have enthusiastically endorsed our efforts to
place the concern of refugees high on the civil rights agenda.
My own involvement in civil rights and refugee affairs
spans over forty years, beginning with my active involvement in
the effort to protect the fundamental rights of Japanese-Americans
who were interned during World War II. I am sad for our country
when I am reminded of the parallels between this shameful episode
and the recent long-term detention of the Haitian refugee boat
people. Today, as an International Vice President of the
International Rescue Committee, I am devoting an ever-increasing
amount of time and energy to safeguarding the basic rights and
freedoms of refugees here and abroad.
It is from this commitment that in March of 1982 I joined
with over forty colleagues from prominent national civil rights,
religious, labor and human rights organizations to respond to
the intolerable detention of Haitian refugee boat people by
forming the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, with the
specific aim of ending this dreadful mistreatment, and furthering
the public consideration of legal status for the Haitian refugees.
I am proud to be joined on this panel today by Michael S. Hooper,
the Executive Director of this organization.
We remain committed to the goals of justice and equal protec-
tion under law for the Haitian boat people, and I am delighted
to have this opportunity today to personally thank Judiciary
Committee Chairman Peter Rodino for having the courage and vision
to continue to play a leadership role in the effort to correct
the intolerable plight of the Cuban and Haitian boat people
through the introduction of the Cuban-Haitian Adjustment Act
of 1984. In gratitude to Chairman Rodino, and with heartfelt
thanks, we strongly support this legislation.
I want also to thank you, Chairman Mazzoli, and the other
Subcommittee Members who have already Joined Chairman Rodino as
co-sponsors of this essential legislation.
The Haitian refugee boat people are the first numerically
significant group of black refugees ever to seek safety on our
shores from brutal repression and degrading economic chaos.
Our treatment of this group of boat people is therefore sig-
nificant as a test of the fairness and eaual application of
our refugee laws to peoples from all nations who no longer
are allowed full participation in their own societies. Our
treatment of the Haitian boat people is a test of our nation's
will to carry out the much-applauded reforms contained in the
Refugee Act of 1980, its attempt to even-handedly apply inter-
national law and provide uniform criteria to discern who shall
obtain safe haven in our country. Our treatment of this group
of black boat people has provided our nation a test, and it is
a test that thus far we sadly have not met.
From the first boatload of Haitian refugees who landed in
southern Florida in December 1972, extraordinary measures have
been taken by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to speed
the rejection of Haitian claims for political asylum and to hasten
deportation back to Haiti -- often at overwhelming social costs
and untold suffering. Wholesale civil rights violations have
occurred in the process, and this official disrespect for the
rule of law has also eroded respect for the rights of permanent
residents and citizens. In 1980, Judge James Lawrence King found
in his celebrated decision handed down in Haitian Refugee Center
v. Civiletti, that the "manner in which the Immigration and
Naturalization Service treated the more than 4000 Haitian plaintiff-s
violated the Constitution, the immigration statutes, international
agreements, I.N.S. regulations and I.N.S. operating procedures. It
But it did not stop. In fact, with the detention program
illegally promulgated by the Immigration Service in May 1981,
the singling out of the Haitians for particular mistreatment
escalated. The Government Accounting Office, in its report,
"Detention Policies Affecting Haitian Nationals", issued June
16, 1983, concluded that "(T)he cost and the adverse humani-
tarian effects of long-term detention do not make it attractive
as a normal way of dealing with undocumented aliens seeking
asylum" (p.iv). However, it took a court order, handed down
in June of 1982, to release almost 2000 Haitians held under
this detention program, many of whom had been imprisoned for
over a year and a half under substandard conditions.
This unprecedented treatment meted out to these black boat
people is a civil rights blight for our country, and can only be
remedied satisfactoruly by granting permanent residency to these
people who have been so mistreated. Chairman Rodino's legislation
would do just that.
Chairman Rodino's bill is simple, limited and fair, providing
legal status to a selected group of refugees. It is not a sub-
stitute for a comprehensive legalization program, but a specific
grant to meet a specific need.
H.R. 4853 would grant permanent residence to Cubans and Haitians
who arrived in our country before Janaury 1, 1982, and "with
respect to whom any record was established by the Immigration and
Naturalization Service" before that date. This legislation has
received the active endorsement of every major civil rights orgahi-
zation aware of the plight of these refugee groups precisely
because of this comprehensive coverage.
Repeated government announcements have promised the great
majority of this group that their "entrant" status would be
converted to permanent residence through legislation. We in
the civil rights community agree with Chairman Rodino's par-
ticular concern for the small group of Haitians and Cubans who
arrived subsequent to the granting of "entrant" status but prior
to January 1, 1982. Their added suffering under indefinite
detention deserves the special attention this legislation
affords these refugees.
I am additionally gratified to have received assurances
that the intent of the legislation is to include all Cuban and
Haitian "entrants" and all those for whom any record was
established, to ensure the most just and equitable imple-
mentation of the bill's benefits. It is of crucial importance
that potential beneficiaries nbt be made ineligible because
their files were misplaced by the Immigration Service. Addi-
tionally, all "entrants" must be secure that the interim status
granted to them over three years ago will not be taken away
through a rigid application of Section "C" of the Act. Mr.
Chairman, it would go against all civilized principles to grant
to these boat people an interim status, to promise them that it
will be made permanent, only them to deny them permanent
residence on a clearly-unintended technicality.
In closing, I want to say again how important this issue
is to the entire human rights community in our country, and
how Chairman Rodino's legislation has been carefully crafted
to be bQoth inclusive of the refugees in need of status adjust-
ment while remaining limited in scope and not open-ended.
Mr. Chairman, I sincerely request that the Subcommittee
on Immigration, Refugees and International Law work closely and
actively with Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino in
correcting the intolerable civil rights plight of the Cuban
and Haitian boat people, by expediting the passage of the
Cuban-Haitian Adjustment Act out of the Subcommittee and by
furthering its early consideration by the full House of
Thank you again for this opportunity to appear before
you today to speak on this essential civil rights legislation.
Mr. MAZZOLI. Thank you very much. I appreciate your willing-
ness to work with us in this very narrow framework we have.
Mr. HILL. Right.
Mr. MAZZOLI. Mr. Mazur, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. MAZUR. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for holding
these hearings on H.R. 4853 and for inviting me to testify before
My name is Jay Mazur and I am the general secretary-treasurer
of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The ILGWU
strongly endorses the Cuban/Haitian Adjustment Act of 1984 and
so does the AFL-CIO.
In his recent letter to Chairman Rodino of the House Judiciary
Committee, President Kirkland called for the enactment of H.R.
4853 as-and I quote: "The only satisfactory solution to the unique
plight and suffering of Cuban and Haitian boat people who sought
safety on our shores before 1982."
Mr. Chairman, our union, a union of immigrants, was one of the
earliest to stand in defense of the Haitian refugees. We did it be-
cause we realized early on that their treatment in this country had
posed a major civil rights challenge to all of us.
In the words of Lane Kirkland, "Our Government's policy
against Haitian refugees has been discriminatory, cruel and politi-
In the tradition of all civil rights struggles, therefore the ILGWU
joined hands with other major labor, civil rights, religious and
human rights organizations to establish the National Coalition for
Haitian Refugees. I am glad to see some distinguished friends from
that coalition here with me this morning.
It has been the commitment of that coalition to bring justice to
the Haitian refugees. The bill before you, in many ways, is a culmi-
nation of the effort of that coalition, and to that extent, it is per-
Mr. Chairman, the ILGWU and the men and women of the
American labor movement have always supported the cause of all
people who have left their homelands and arrived on U.S. shores
fleeing from one form of persecution or the other. To treat the Hai-
tians in any different way is morally and ethically intolerable. Yet,
that is exactly what our government has chosen to do.
The administration has singled them out for mistreatment. The
list reflecting the uniqueness of their plight is long and unprece-
dented. The Haitian refugees are the only group that was denied
the most fundamental elements of due process under our laws and
They were subjected to mass deportation hearings that resem-
bled Kangaroo courts. They were effectively denied access to com-
mitted lawyers who were willing and able to defend them without
cost. They were put in jails where basic human conditions did not
exist. They were shipped to remote parts of the country where
there were no immigration lawyers to plead their cases and where
subzero temperatures were common.
Their detention was held illegal by our courts and yet they face
the possibility of their deportation to their homeland at this very
The administration, Mr. Chairman, played the game for a long
time of branding the Haitian as economic migrants, and not as po-
We, all of us, have bitter memories of that dubious distinction,
both before and during the Second World War. We opposed the dis-
tinction then and we oppose it today, no matter what the color of
the skin of the refugees.
Mr. Chairman, the Haitians who reached our shores have not
only fled the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, they
have also fled the last hereditary dictatorship in our hemisphere.
Their fear of persecution if deported back has been amply proven
by long judicial proceedings in the Federal courts and by testimo-
nies of reporters, journalists and academics who know something
Modern history has taught us that dictatorships comes in more
than ond variety. The Duvalier government's record is full of sup-
pression of the press and of individual freedom. Its wholesale physi-
cal elimination of trade union activity has been documented by
many human rights reports.
Haitians fled their homelands, not to seek a welfare check in
Florida; they fled the economic corruption and the political terror
of their government. Haitians have proven to be exemplary work-
ers in the farms and industries of our country. Those among them
who have joined our union are good union members.
Instead of being jailed and made vulnerable to threats of depor-
tation, they should be allowed to become a part of the mainstream
America and to contribute their talent and labor to the American
economy. That goal, Mr. Chairman, is precisely what the bill before
you would seek to accomplish.
We applaud Congressman Rodino's courage in introducing this
legislation. It is a tribute to his sense of decency and fair play. And
we highly appreciate the bipartisan support the bill has received
from a number of cosponsors.
This bill, Mr. Chairman, is long overdue. Granting legal perma-
nent residence status to all Haitians and Cubans who arrived in
the United States prior to January 1, 1982, would finally resolve
the bureaucratic and legal chaos that surrounds this issue.
Mr. MAzzou. Mr. Mazur, I am sorry, your time has also expired.
Could you maybe summarize what other points you may wish to
Mr. MAZUR. I just have one more paragraph that will take about
Mr. MAZZOU. All right, fine.
Mr. MAZUR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Only then can the various voluntary agencies, churches, and
communities around the country quickly engage in a decent reset-
tlement program that both would benefit, the refugees and relieve
the problems and tensions affecting south Florida and other areas
where Haitians and Cubans now reside.
For our part, Mr. Chairman, the ILG will offer its help in this
Thank you for the opportunity to be here today.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Mazur follows:]
36-483 0 84 6
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JAY MAZUR, SECRETARY-TREASURER, INTERNATIONAL LADIES
GARMENT WORKERS' UNION, AFL-CIO
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for holding these hearings
on H.R, 4853, and inviting me and my union to testify before this
My name is Jay Mazur, and I am the General Secretary-Treasurer
of the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union. The ILGWU
strongly endorses the Cuban Haitian Adjustment Act of 1984. And
so does the AFL-CIO. In his recent letter to Chairman Rodino,
of the House Judiciary Committee, President Kirkland called for
the enactment of H.R. 4853 as "the only satisfactory solution
to the unique plight and suffering of Cuban and Haitian boat
people who sought safety on our shores before 1982."
Mr. Chairman, our union -- a union of immigrants -- was one
of the earliest to stand in defence of Haitian refugees. We did
it because we realized early on that their treatment in this
country had posed a major civil rights challenge to all of us.
In the words of Lane Kirkland, our government's policy against
Haitian refugees has been discriminatory, cruel, and politically
In the tradition of all civil rights struggles, therefore,
the ILGWU joined hands with other major labor, civil rights, religious
and human rights organization to establish the National Coalition
for Haitian Refugees. I am glad to see some distinguished friends
from that Coalition here with me this morning. It has been the
commitment of that Coalition to bring justice to the cause of the
Haitians. The bill before you, in many ways, is the culmination
of the effort of that Coalition. To that extent, it is personally
Mr. Chairman, the ILGWU and the men and women of the American
labor movement have always supported the cause of all peoples
who have left their homelands and arrived on U.S. shores
fleeing from one form of persecution or the other. To treat
the Haitians in any different way is morally and ethically
intolerable. Yet, that is exactly what our government has chosen
to do. The administration has singled them out for mistreatment.
The list reflecting the uniqueness of their plight is long and
The Haitian refugees are the only group that was denied
the most fundamental elements of due process under our laws and
the Constitution. They were subjected to mass deportation
hearings that reminded us of Kangaroo courts. They were effectively
denied access to committed lawyers who were willing and able to
defend them without cost. They were put in jails where basic
human conditions didn't exist. They were shipped to remote
parts of the country where there were no immigration lawyers to
plead their cases, and where sub-zero temperatures were a common
occurrence. Their detention was held illegal by our courts. And
yet they face the possibility of deportation to their homeland.
Our administration, Mr Chairman, played the game for a long
time of branding the Haitians as economic migrants and not as
political refugees. We, all of us, have bitter memories of that
dubious distinction. Nazi Germany called all migrating Jews
economic migrants. And the U.S. government adopted the same
definition until we discovered the consequences of that distinction
in the unfortunate form that no one wants to be reminded of. We
opposed the distinction then, and we oppose it today -- no matter
what the pigmentation of the skins of the refugees is.
Mr Chairman, the Haitians who reached our shores have not
only fled the poorest country in the western hemisphere, they
have also fled the last hereditary dictatorship in our hemisphere.
Their fear of persecution, if deported back, has been amply
proven by long judicial proceedings in the federal courts, and
by testimonies of reporters, journalists and academics who know
something about Haiti. Modern history has taught us that dicta-
torships come in more than one variety. The Duvalier government's
record is full of suppression of the press and individual free-
dom. Its wholesale physical elimination of trade union activity
has been documented by many a human rights report. Hiaitians
fled their homeland not to seek a welfare check in Florida.
They fled the economic corruption and the political terror of
Haitians have proven to be exemplary workers in the farms
and industries of our country. Those among them who have joined
our union are good union members. Instead of being jailed and
made vulnerable to threats of deportation, they should be allowed
to become a part of mainstream America, and to contribute
their talent arnd labor to the American economy.
That goal, Mr Chairman, is precisely what the bill before
you would seek to accomplish. We applaud Congressman Rodino's
courage to introduce this legislation. It is a tribute to his
sense of decency and fairplay. And we highly appreciate the
bi-partisan support the bill has received from a number of co-sponsor-.
This bill, Mr. Chairman, is long overdue. Granting legal
permanent resident status to all Haitians and Cubans who arrived
in the U.S. priotto January 1, 1982 would finally resolve the
bureaucratic and legal chaos that surrounds this issue. Only
then can the various voluntary agencies, churches and communities
around the country quickly engage in a decent re-settlement
program that would both benefit the refugees and relieve the
problems and tensions affecting South Florida and other areas
where Haitians and Cubans now reside. For our part, the ILGWU
will offer its help in this effort.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MAZZOLI. Thank you very much, Mr. Mazur.
Mr. Hooper, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. HOOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and other members of
the subcommittee for inviting our views today.
My name is Mike Hooper; I am the executive director of the Na-
tional Coalition for Haitian Refugees.
Mr. Chairman, there are several technical changes in my written
testimony which I would like to submit at this time.
Mr. MAZZOu. All right.
Mr. HOOPER. Mr. Chairman, we are particularly grateful that
this legislation would finally end the tragic plight and the aggra-
vated legal limbo of this restricted class of Cuban and Haitian boat
This bill has already been endorsed and cosponsored by a biparti-
san group of your colleagues: Chairman Pepper, Chairman Fascell,
Chairman Barnes, Chairman Dixon, Mr. Fauntroy, Judge Crockett,
and the overwhelming majority of the Black Caucus. The chairman
of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Refugee Policy,
Senator Simpson, is also supportive of a need to end this limbo sit-
uation for Cuban and Haitian refugees.
Apparently following the testimony of Mr. Nelson this morning,
the administration supports this same class definition, although
they seem to prefer a July 1981 cutoff date.
Mr. Chairman, every major civil rights, trade union, religious,
and voluntary organization familiar with the plight of the Cuban
and the Haitian boat people favor this act. There are numerous let-
ters of endorsement from organizations as well known and repre-
senting as many organizations. For instance, the Leadership Con-
ference of Civil Rights, representing 150 well known national civil
rights organizations has strongly enclosed this legislation. There
are strong letters of support from the AFL-CIO. The NAACP has
written that legal status is the only just solution to right this grave
mistreatment. There are many other strong letters of endorsement.
At this time, Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit for the record
one additional letter from Greater Miami United, a coalition orga-
nization of 90 groups from southern Florida that have written to
each Member of the House of Representatives urging that they co-
sponsor this bill.
Mr. MAZZOL. Without objection, it will be made a part of the
record. [See app. 4 at p. 166.]
Mr. HOOPER. Mr. Chairman, the Haitian and Cuban boat people
have risked their lives to come to our country. Obviously, refugees
from other lands have suffered similar hardship, but the situation
of the Haitian and Cuban boat people is unique and made more
compelling because of the treatment they have received here.
The intended beneficiaries of H.R. 4853 are a specific and re-
stricted group of Cuban and Haitian boat people. Our figures are
essentially the same as those presented by Commissioner Nelson
this morning. The number of Cuban boat people is approximately
110,000, the vast majority of those people have already been-al-
ready received entrant status from the Carter administration. How-
ever, the eligibility period, for the entrant status program was fo-
cused around and fixed around the influx of these Cuban refugees.
It includes a certain number, approximately 13,000 Haitians, but it
essentially remains predominantly a Cuban program.
Mr. Chairman, H.R. 4853 should be enacted immediately because
it conforms to and implements the purpose and the motivating
principle of this entrant program.
Unfortunately, the Immigration Service narrowly interpreted the
mandate of the entrant program, qualifying the term "known to
INS" to mean only those persons who were encountered and placed
Mr. Rodino's bill, the Cuban/Haitian Adjustment Act, grants
permanent residence status to all Haitians and Cubans who had
any record established with the Immigration Service, regardless of
whether actual deportation proceedings are initiated against them.
Mr. Chairman, H.R. 4853 should be enacted immediately because
it will provide long overdue relief to a restrictive group of Haitians
and Cubans who have suffered particularly harsh treatment and
accumulated considerable equities. The most crucial aspect of this
bill is it will grant permanent residence to a relatively restrictive
group of Cuban and Haitian boat people who arrived subsequent to
the entrant program. The most important subclass of these people
are the 2,000 Haitian boat people imprisoned for 18 months.
It is now well accepted that this group of Haitian boat people
suffered from a policy that was cruel, low precedented, that is now
universally regretted. We believe that the moral heart of this bill,
the moral linchpin of this bill is its central attention to make
amends for this suffering.
Mr. Chairman, there are two areas of potential ambiguity involv-
ing the comprehensive coverage of H.R. 4853. We believe that
simple technical amendments can resolve these ambiguities and
preserve the spirit of the bill.
First, it is beyond dispute that in this bill, and through previous
Government pronouncements, the clear intention is that persons
who receive the immigration designation of Cuban/Haitian entrant
status pending are to be adjusted to permanent residence, section
(b)(1) of this bill.
It is also clear that section (c) of this bill is intended to exclude
from coverage nonimmigrants who were lawfully admitted to the
United States and who subsequently overstayed their visas.
As Bishop Bevilacqua pointed out, without further clarification, a
rigid application of subsection (c) could completely undermine the
Mr. MAZZOLI. Proceed. You have this point and a second one
Mr. HOOPER. And then I will summarize. Thank you very much.
Mr. MAZZOLI. Yes.
Mr. HOOPER. The second ambiguity involves the need to reinforce
the act's clear intention that all otherwise eligible Cubans and Hai-
tians "with respect to whom any record was established by the Im-
migration and Naturalization Service before January 1, 1982, will
receive the benefits of the legislation."
These benefits clearly should be granted to all otherwise eligible
persons even if the files of certain of the refugees were later lost or
misplaced by the Immigration Service.
Mr. Chairman, to summarize, in the spirit of Mr. Frank's com-
ment earlier this morning, the sense of justice and humanitarian
concern that is basic to this bill, that is absolutely fundamental to
this bill, will be needlessly compromised if interim relief is not
granted immediately to protect class members from the threat of
imminent deportation. No intended beneficiary of this legislation
should be deported while this bill is pending before the Congress.
Given the administration's assurances this morning that they
agree with the class definition, given the July 1981 date they pro-
posed, some kind of interim, even informal protection must be af-
forded. Absent a halt of deportation proceedings there would be a
further disproportionate impact on Haitian refugees. This tragedy
must not be further aggravated.
Thank you very much for inviting our views.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hooper follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MICHAEL S. HOOPER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL
COALITION FOR HAITIAN REFUGEES
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee on
Immigration, Refugees and International Law, for inviting the
views of the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees during
your consideration of the Cuban-Haitian Adjustment Act of 1984,
H.R. 4853, proposed by Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino.
We consider this legislation to be absolutely essential and far
too long overdue.
My name is Michael S. Hooper and I am the Executive Director
for the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, which is composed
of over 45 national civil and human rights, labor, legal, religious,
Haitian and other national voluntary organizations. Our member
organizations traditionally concerned with fundamental civil rights
issues include all north American and Haitian organizations working
nationally to ameliorate the desperate plight of the Haitian refugee
boat people. The concern of the Coalition and our constituent
members with this legislation arises from our specific involvement
since 1979 in all aspects of the national crisis created by the
unprecedented official treatment that the Haitian boat people have
suffered, and from our deep commitment to secure for them humane
treatment, substantive and procedural due process of law, and
eventual permanent residence status in this country.
Mr. Chairman, we are particularly grateful that this legis-
lation would end the tragic plight and aggravated legal limbo of
a restricted class of Cuban and Haitian boat people. It would
grant to approximately 125,000 Cuban and 31,000 Haitian boat
people permanent residence in the United States. This bill has
already been endorsed and co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group of
over forty of your colleagues including Chairman Mazzoli, Chairman
Pepper, Chairman Fascell, Chairman Dixon, Chairman Barnes,
Representatives Conable, Pritchard, McKinney and Fauntroy,
and the overwhelming majority of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and
Refugee Policy, Alan Simpson, has also supported the need to
"end the Cuban and Haitian legal limbo" and grant them permanent resident
status. We sincerely appreciate this vigorous support and the
courage and vision of the most active proponents of this
Every maior civil rights, trade union, re]igiou and
voluntary organization familiar with the plight of the Cuban
and Haitian refugees has enthusiastically endorsed the Cuban-
Haitian Adjustment Act. Mr. Chairman, the Leadership Conference
on Civil Rights, representing over 150 civil rights organizations
of national prominence, has written to each Member of the House
"Our member organizations have long been concerned
with the tragic civil rights plight of the Haitian
refugee boat people, and we agree with Chairman
Rodino that this situation can only be resolved
satisfactorily by granting this restricted number
of Haitian and Cuban refugees permanent residence
status.... We further applaud this legislation be-
cause it embodies the fundamental principles of
equal justice for all and respect for basic human
Mr. Lane Kirkland, President of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., has strongly
endorsed the Cuban-Haitian Adjustment Act of 1984 stating that
"Justice demands that this group of Cuban and Haitian
refugees who risked their lives to flee to our country
from misery and repression be granted permanent resi-
dence and an end to their tragic plight and legal limbo.
The unique and desperate situation of the Cuban and-
Haitian refugees has been repeatedly linked by govern-
mental action and in the public mind. The great majority
of the Cuban boat people from the Mariel flotilla and the
comparable group of Haitian refugees have long ago been
promised that their "entrant" status would be converted
to permanent residency through legislation."
The N.A.A.C.P. has written that "legal status is the only just
solution to right this grave mistreatment." The American
Jewish Committee strongly agrees, expressing a grave concern
for the unique plight of the Haitian refugees, "many of whom
were jailed for up to 18 months under a detention program that
has been universally condemned as illegal and discriminatory."
The A.J.C. continues:
"fundamental principles of justice and humanity demand
that both the Cuban refugees from Mariel and the far
smaller group of Haitian refugees who arrived slightly
later must have their legal status regularized not only
because of the tragic nature of their plight and the
treatment they have received but also because they have
been repeatedly linked in the public mind and in govern-
ment actions, beginning with the Cuban-Haitian program
of the Carter administration. The great majority of
the class of Cubans and Haitians who would benefit from
the Rodino legislation long ago have been granted a
temporary "entrant" status and a promise of legal
The American Civil Liberties Union has written to each
Member of Congress stressing that they are:
"...committed to preserving the rights of due process
and equal protection of law guaranteed by the Constitution
and federal legislation. No recent example of government
action more dramatically demonstrates the import of these
rights or their frailty than the experience of Cuban and
Haitian refugees here in the United States. These refugees
came to this country seeking freedom and political asylum
but they have suffered substantial abuse."
The League of United Latin American Citizens, this
country's largest and oldest Hispanic organization, has
enthusiastically supported Chairman Rodino's bill and have
called for its early enactment:
"...in risking their lives they fled expecting just
treatment by the democratic institutions of this
country. Unfortunately, both these groups have been
poorly treated and have had misrepresentations made
to them regarding their legal status in the U.S. by
being promised that their "entrant" status would be
converted to permanent residency through legislation.
Regretfully and unfortunately, this promise has not
been materialized and as a consequence major undue
hardships have resulted.... Your bill serves to
underscore the need to have legislation benefit
both groups and is a message to those who wish to
divide blacks and Hispanics that such efforts will
I. INTRODUCTORY RATIONALE UNDERLYING THE NECESSITY OF IMMEDIATE
STATUS FOR CUBAN AND HAITIAN BOAT PEOPLE
This legislation finally accords justice and due process to
these Cuban and Haitian boat people, the great majority of whom
have suffered in a legal limbo for an intolerable period. At the
same time, the number of people who would benefit from this
legislation is well defined and limited.
Mr. Chairman, the Haitian and Cuban boat people have risked
their lives in fleeing to our country seeking shelter from
repression and stark misery. Although refugees from other lands
suffer similar hardship, the situation of the Haitian and Cuban
boat people is unique and is made more compelling because of
the treatment that they have been subjected to here on our shores.
Since 1980, the situation and fate of the Haitian and Cuban
boat people has been linked both in the public mind and in govern-
ment action and announcements. The Carter administration repeatedly
recognized the uniqueness of the plight of these two refugee groups,
and the great majority of them were repeatedly promised that their
"entrant" status would soon be legislatively confirmed through a
grant of permanent residence. The Cuban-Haitian Adjustment Act
would finally end their legal limbo and grant them this long-
However, adjusting the legal status of only the "entrant"
group arbitrarily restricts the small class of Haitians who shour3
be eligible for the same protections from deportation. The cut-
off date for eligibility for the Cuban-Haitian "entrant" program
was set at October 10, 1980, because of the particularities of
the Mariel experience. Specifically, the Mariel influx ended in
the late summer of 1980, but the comparable group of Haitians
were still arriving in 1981. A rigid enforcing of the "entrant"
date would exclude from coverage the comparable group of Haitian
boat people totaling approximately 9,000 persons, including the
2200 Haitians whose detention has been universally condemned and
regretted. Both groups have essentially the same profile and the
same equities. A slight difference in arrival date should not
result in turning the equal protection of the Cuban-Haitian
"entrant" program into a predominantly Cuban program.
Of the small group of Haitian and Cuban boat people who
arrived subsequent to the grant of "entrant" status but prior
to January 1, 1982, approximately 2200 Haitians languished in
prisons for up to eighteen (18) months under intolerable conditions.
This is an additional and substantial equity that must be recog-
nized as warranting that their presence should be legally confirmed
by a grant of legal status.
Both the Haitians and the Cubans work and are productive
members of our communities, particulalry in south Florida. The
federal government entitlement programs they have benefitted from
recognize the historical linkage and particular needs of the
Cuban and Haitian refugees, and have served as further rein-
forcement to the assurance that legal status would soon be
forthcoming for both groups. Numerous studies have shown that
these refugees are law-abiding and hard working. They have
undeniably contributed to our society, yet they have been
denied the benefits of full legal residence.
II. INTRODUCTION TO THE PLIGHT OF THE HAITIAN REFUGEE BOAT PEOPLE
Since 1959, almost one-eighth (1/8) of the population of
Haiti has fled from their homeland to escape the cumulative
effects of the twenty-six (26) years of Duvalier family rule.
A small part of this diaspora has sought haven in the United
States. In the last ten years approximately 50,000 refugees
have risked their lives across 800 miles of hazardous ocean
to seek safety and asylum in the U.S. These are the Haitian
"boat people" whose total numbers are minuscule when compared
to other refugee groups warmly and continuously received by our
government. The desperate nature of their plight has been
repeatedly confirmed in reports by Amnesty International, the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization
of American States, and other respected human rights organizations.
Nevertheless, these refugees have been greeted by harsh and
discriminatory policies, unprecedented in the history of our country,
that systematically deny them their rights to fair and impartial
administration of our immigration laws.*
Many Haitians have applied for political asylum in the United
States, expressing a fear of persecution in their home country.
Despite substantial evidence of ongoing human rights violations
in Haiti, almost all of these claims (more than 99%) have been
denied by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I.N.S.)
after consultation with the Department of State. Federal courts
have repeatedly found that our government's policy of detention
of Haitians was unlawful, unconstitutional, and discriminatory.
Yet the emergency of the Haitian boat people continues, as they
still face the imminent threat of forcible deportation back to
Three years ago a two-part policy was implemented that
virtually guaranteed that the Haitian boat people, and virtually
only Haitians, would not be able to exercise their rights
to claim political asylum in this country. This policy appears
to have been aimed at creating a deterrent against future arrivals
The Haitian refugee boat people have been improperly denied their
statutory and treaty rights to a hearing before an immigration
judge in exclusion proceedings on their claims for political asylum.
Sannon v. United States, 427 F. Supp. 1270 (S.D. Fla. 1977), vacated
and remanded on other grounds, 566 F. 2d 104 (5th Cir. 1978). They
have been denied their right to notice of the procedures that the
government intended to use against them in exclusion proceedings.
Sannon v. United States, 460 F. Supp. 458 (S.D. Fla. 1976). They
have been denied the right to work during the pendency of their
asylum claims. National Council of Churches v. Egan, No. 79-2959-
Civ-WMH (S.D. Fla. 1979). They have been denied access to infor-
mation to support their asylum claims. National Council of Churches
v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, No. 78-5163-Civ-JLK
(S.D. Fla. 1979). They have been denied the very right to be heard
on their asylum claims. Haitian Refugee Center v. civiletti, 503
F. Supp. 442 (S.D. Fla. 1980), affirmed H.R.C. v. Smith 676 F.2d
1023 (5th Cir. Unit B, 1982). They have been denied their right to
counsel and to fair process in their exclusion hearings by being
shipped, like cattle, to remote areas of America. Louis v. Meissner,
530 F. Supp. 924 (S.D. Fla. 1981).
from Haiti regardless of the extent to which the legal rights
of the refugees in this country were trampled on.
Beginning in May 1981, Haitian asylum applicants arriving
in the U.S. were placed in detention, first in the Krome Avenue
North Detention Facility in Miami. As protest concerning the
overcrowded conditions there grew, the I.N.S. began to jail
the refugees in ten federal prisons and I.N.S. facilities in
five states and in Puerto Rico. In July of 1981, Attorney
General William French Smith formally announced the Administration's
new immigration and detention policy for Haitians. By September
1981 over 2,700 Haitians, and only Haitians, were held in ten
isolated and widely dispersed locations, many far from attorneys,
interpreters, and any contact with the Haitian community. In every
meaningful sense they were thus effectively denied the right to
apply for asylum in the U.S.
On September 29, 1981, President Reagan signed an Executive
Order authorizing the interdiction of Haitian boats in the
Caribbean by the U.S. Coast Guard, acting in cooperation with
the Haitian Navy. Under this program, implemented pursuant to
an agreement with the Government of Haiti, all Haitian boats
suspected of carrying potential asylum applicants are inter-
cepted and forcibly returned to Haiti.
The State Department and I.N.S. have officially pre-judged
the claims of the Haitian boat people, declaring that all Haitians
with few exceptions flee to the U.S. for economic, rather than
political reasons, and are thus not entitled to receive refugee-
status. While one would expect a pronouncement of such potentially
deadly significance to be supported by unimpeachable facts, our
government has offered only meager specifics to support their
conclusory distinction. In fact, reliable evidence suggests
just the opposite conclusion.
In the landmark judicial opinion rendered in the case of
Haitian Refugee Center v. Civiletti, the United States District
Court of the Southern District of Florida found that "Haitians
have flocked to the shores of south Florida over the past twenty
years fleeing the most repressive government in the Americas."
Judge James Lawrence King found that the evidence presented in
his court concerning conditions in Haiti was "stark, brutal and
bloody." He concluded that "the treatment of returnees in Haiti
is part of a systematic and pervasive oppression of political
opposition which uses prisons as its torture chambers and Tonton
Macoutes as its enforcers."1
This judgement confirmed the finding of all respected human
rights organizations that the brutal regime of the late dictator
"Papa Doc" Duvalier and that of the current President-for-Life,
Jean-Claude Duvalier, have crushed any viable opposition through
a policy of imprisoning, torturing, and killing without legal
procedure some of its critics and forcing others into exile.
1. Cited in Haitian Refugee Center v. Civiletti, 503 F. Supp. 442,
475 (S.D. Fla., affirmed in part 5th Cir. May 24, 1982.)
"Haiti has inverted a famous quotation: Haiti is a nation of
men, not laws... The law in Haiti on any given day is what
the President says it is.... Guilt is a determination made
exclusively by the person empowered to arrest. That person'S
perception of what constitutes a crime, and what is necessary.
to commit it, controls. Arbitrariness is the rule. Guilt
is often founded on association." Ibid.
Please see Appendix #1 entitled, "Preconditions for Tragedy:
A Pattern of Human Rights Abuses in Haiti".
36-483 0 84 7
III. THE INTENDED BENEFICIARIES OF H.R. 4853 ARE A SPECIFIC
AND RESTRICTED GROUP OF CUBAN AND HAITIAN BOAT PEOPLE
The immediate rationale for this essential and long overdue
legislation is discussed in the balance of this testimony with
particular reference to the plight of sub-groups of the affected
refugee population. The basic demographics of the population
demonstrate the carefully crafted and restricted nature of
Most observers are in agreement.that the number of Cuban
boat people who would benefit from this legislation is approxi-
mately 125,000. The Cubans make up the majority of those refugees
to be granted permanent residence under this legislation and the
vast majority of eligible Cubans have previously received
the I.N.S. designation of Cuban-Haitian "entrant" (please see
the discussion of the Cuban-Haitian "Entrant" Program supra.)
The overwhelming majority of these Cubans arrived in mid-1980
during the period of the "Mariel flotilla."
As detailed below, the eligibility period for Cuban-Haitian
"entrant" status was arbitrarily fixed around the influx of
these Cubans. While it includes approximately 13,500 Haitians
who arrived at that same time, it is predominently a Cuban "entrant"
It is clear from Federal and State Government statistics
that between 70-75% of the Cubans and Haitians covered by this
legislation were initially resettled in the State of Florida
and still reside there. The resettlement and integration into -
the southern Florida community has proceeded remarkably smoothly
for the vast majority of both Cubans and Haitians.
A recent study commissioned by the Latin American and
Caribbean Center of Florida International University has
concluded that both the Haitian "entrants" and the Haitian boat
people released from long-term detention on the order of a
federal court are "highly motivated, hardworking, and anxious
to integrate into American society", despite their experience
of "prejudice and discrimination from all sectors of local
society."2 The study concludes:
"Permanent resident status for Krome Haitians and
Haitian "entrants" should be provided by the U.S.
Congress. Returning the Haitians to Haiti would
likely subject them to persecution by Haitian
officials. Moreover, permanent resident status
would assist in the adaptation of Haitians by
alleviating the psychological uncertainty they
currently face, promoting family development and
bringing many Haitians out from the underground.
Moreover, if a large population exists which is
afraid of the law because of their uncertain legal
status, then enforcing the law, including labor
law, becomes more difficult. It would further
deter others from exploiting Haitians because of
their uncertain legal status.
"Congressman Rodino with support from Greater Miami
United along with the National Coalition for Haitian
Refugees, the Congressional Black Caucus and others
have recently proposed legislation which would legalize
the status of both the Krome and "entrant" Haitians.
Passage of this legislation would significantly aid
Haitians in their efforts to adapt to and integrate
into U.S. society.... Excluding the Krome Haitians
from a legalization program would only be arbitrary
2. "Haitians Released From Krome: Their Prospects for Adaptation
and Integration in South Florida", Latin American and
Caribbean Center, Florida International University,
Occasional Papers Series Dialogues, #24, March 2, 1984,- .i.
3. Ibid, p. 34.