1994: Clinton’s Refugee Crisis, #ConvenientOutrage Today

By: Denise Simon

There was a military junta in Haiti and President Clinton dispatched 2,000 Marines and 4 amphibious groups to the Caribbean island to restore order. Clinton had just announced new rules on asylum seekers where the applications HAD to be made at U.S. consular stations in Haiti. In the two weeks prior to this, the Coast Guard had picked up 13,000 refugees at sea.

At the time, International treaties signed by the United States provided for refugees to make applications with no guarantee of acceptance. The Supreme Court had also ruled that those that did make it to U.S. soil and claimed asylum have no legal claim in the United States until their plea is considered and approved. Those that needed proven protection would be given the opportunity to obtain it in safe-haven camps. Clinton declared this to be not an exclusive U.S. problem, but rather a hemispheric problem.

It is also worth mentioning that at the same time, there were 4,900 refugees camped at Guantanamo and they would later be sent to Panama, Dominica and Antigua. Understand, these refugees were not seeking asylum out of fear, but rather due to economic reasons. Those 3 countries agreed to take the refugees for up to 6 months until there was a regime change due to the overthrow of Jean Bertrand Aristide.

Today, the left is conveniently forgetting these facts. Turns out that in 1994, President Clinton sent 20,000 U.S. soldiers to Haiti to “restore” the democratic government of then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Three years later, U.S. taxpayers were $2.8 billion poorer and Aristide was still  scripting the future of Haiti. Aristide, the likeliest winner of Haiti’s next presidential election in 2000, had created an economic, political and security organization designed to perpetuate his grip on power in Haiti — regardless of whether he actually holds elected office.

Oh, meanwhile there was also a Cuban problem. The LA Times reported at the time:

In an announcement that stunned Cubans and their relatives in this country, President Clinton said Friday that refugees from Fidel Castro’s communist nation will no longer receive preferential treatment from the United States or special help in resettling in this country.

“Today I have ordered that illegal refugees from Cuba will not be allowed to enter the United States,” he declared.

He ordered the Coast Guard–backed by the Navy–to interdict refugees at sea and take them to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Refugees who make it across the Florida Straits will be detained while their cases are reviewed for eligibility to remain in this country.

Clinton made it clear that the plan is a sweeping new policy, rather than a temporary arrangement, that permanently reverses nearly 30 years of precedent.

Determined to avoid a repeat of the 1980 Mariel boat lift, which saw 125,000 Cubans enter the country in a seaborne exodus, Clinton said that Castro is again trying to export his nation’s political and economic crises to the United States.

Add in this fact that was also reported by the LA Times:

The Clinton Administration, trying to stem the flow of Cuban rafters, pressed a dozen Caribbean and Latin American governments Tuesday to provide internment camps that officials hope will prove less attractive to refugees than the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Administration officials said that the Cubans would be transferred from Guantanamo Bay, on Cuba’s southeast coast, to alternate sites just as soon as arrangements can be completed.

Although the refugees at Guantanamo are held behind barbed wire, to many, the base seems less forbidding than a foreign internment camp.

“They believe that Guantanamo is part of the U.S.A.,” said Victor Fraga, 35, a Cuban now living in Miami who reached the United States during the 1980 Mariel boat lift. “When they get to Guantanamo, they are in the U.S. They have food. They have jeans. They have freedom.”

Meanwhile, the United States has passed Germany in becoming the largest recipient of new asylum applications worldwide, according to the United Nations.

The U.N. Refugee Agency released a report on Tuesday showing the number of individual asylum applicants fell by 73 percent in Germany between 2016 and 2017, from 722,400 to 198,300, Politico reported.

Meanwhile, the U.S. saw a nearly 27 percent increase in new applications within a year, reaching 331,700 in 2017. This was the first time since 2012 when the U.S. was the largest recipient of new asylum applications.

Well, perhaps it is a hemispheric issue… question is… what other nations in our hemisphere are part of the solution? Anyone come up with a full and comprehensive cost to the U.S. taxpayer in all this?


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *