IT’S ALL IN A LETTER: Requesting visa approval for NBC reporter to travel to Hanoi in 1979

Authored by Whitney Karen Brown

Elizabeth Holtzman, letter to Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Hoang Bao Son, 28 Feb. 1979, box 35, Garner J. Cline Papers, Center for Migration Studies, (New York, NY.).

In February of 1979, Elizabeth Holtzman, Chairwoman for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and International Law wrote a letter to the Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand, His Excellency Hoang Bao Son, regarding the quick approval for visas for James Upshaw, an NBC reporter, and his television crew, to travel with her to Hanoi.[1] The letter is part of a collection called the Garner J. Cline Papers, which currently resides in the Center for Migration Studies in New York.[2] The Garner J. Cline Papers consists of fifty-one boxes containing the personal papers of Garner J. Cline, who, at the time the letter was written, was Staff Director for the Committee on the Judiciary in the House of Representatives.[3] Continue reading

Garner J. Cline 1979 Letter: Soviet Jews in Rome

Authored by Marianne Brennan

Figure 1: Letter from Peter Regis to Garner J. Cline, in 1979, regarding the overflow of Soviet Jew refugees in Rome.

One of the hot topics in today’s political climate is the refugee crisis. On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning refugees from Muslim countries from entering the US for 90 days, and suspended the US refugee programme for 120 days.[1] This contentious national issue is nothing new. In fact, the banning of refugees can be traced back through US history.

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Behind the Numbers: Vietnamese Refugees at Dong Rek Camp

Authored by Marilyn Diliberti

Background Memorandum on Refugee Admissions Program FY 1986

First of four pages summarizing projected refugee admissions for the 1986 fiscal year

More than a decade after Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho shook hands at the Hotel Majestic in Paris and the last weary American troops returned home, Vietnam still held the world’s attention in 1985. The Vietnamese endured economic and social hardship in the years following the official end of the Vietnam War and, with these new challenges, America turned its focus from war to the resettlement of refugees. The number is small; only 1035 Vietnamese refugees from the Dong Rek Camp were accepted for resettlement into the United States in 1985.[1]  Behind the numbers, though, is history that has been all but forgotten, hidden by the lingering shadow of the Vietnam War. Continue reading

The Cuban Refugee Problem

Authored by Alexis Stone

Cover of Voorhees’ January 1961 report on the Cuban refugee problem

Cover of Voorhees’ January 1961 report on the Cuban refugee problem

On January 1, 1959, after years of guerrilla warfare, Fidel Castro’s forces ousted Cuban President Fulgencio Batista (Daniel, 2004, p. 193). Nowhere was the impact of Castro’s revolutionary socialist state felt more acutely than in Miami Florida, the principal port of entry for Cubans seeking refuge (Mitchell, 1962, p. 3).

 

Report to the President on the Cuban Refugee Problem

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Refugees Magazine-April 1985

Authored by Christina Stankewicz

Front cover of Refugees Magazine - April 1985

Front cover of Refugees Magazine – April 1985

The object featured is an issue of Refugees Magazine from 1985 that was published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR). In this issue the main focus is on the emergency situation in Africa that occurred in the 1980s due to famine. This magazine serves as a way of calling out to give aid to this part of the world and make people aware of the issues at hand.

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The Refugee Act of 1980 Website Review

Authored by Karen Beverly

http://refugeeact1980.weebly.com/

Website Created by Caitlin Smith & Emma Kelly

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An open remark made by Bob Dole which entailed some of the various struggles Cambodians faced.

This website focuses on the overall theme of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of refugees living in America in the 1970’s and 1980’s. This website emphasizes various documents collected in the years 1979, the year before the implementation of the Refugee Act, and 1980.  Obtained from the Endres Collection at the Center for Migration Studies, these documents provide a strong argument regarding the necessity of why such laws need to be put into effect and how all individuals who reside in the United States are entitled to living their fundamental personal freedoms. Continue reading

Endres Collection: Revisions to Refugee Act of 1980

Authored by Lisa Borten

This is a letter regarding H. R. 2816.

This is the first page of a letter addressing some of the amendments made to the Refugee Act of 1980, H.R. 2816.

The document shown here is the untitled “United States Coordinator for Refugee Affairs Letter” from Dick Clark, who was appointed as U.S. Ambassador for Refugee Affairs by then-President Carter in 1979, to the US Coordinator for Refugee Affairs at the time the letter was written (September 12, 1979).  Clark, a senator from Iowa and history professor, worked on and suggested revisions to H.R. 2816, which would later become known as the Refugee Act of 1980 (Prickman 2010).

This document, among others found in the Endres collection, relates to the revisions made to the bill in question, which was groundbreaking legislation for a number of reasons.  Continue reading

Amnesty International Correspondence

Authored by Danielle Manri

 This is a digitized document from the Endres Papers Collection. It was created by Stephanie Grant, Amnesty International’s Washington Office Director

Amnesty International Correspondence

This document, which has never before been seen by the public eye, showcases the development and revision of the Refugee Act of 1980. Most importantly, it provides a context for analyzing the inequities in previous refugee legislation that created the need for a more humanitarian law. This widespread injustice among the admittance of refugees stemmed from the somewhat discriminatory definition of the term “refugee.” In the end, this narrow definition imposed undue suffering on the hundreds of thousands of refugees who sought protection in the United States during the 1970s.[1] On top of dealing with painful memories of a lost home, many of these refugees were not even sure if they would be able to stay in the Land of the Free.[2]

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