Which presidential candidate, as Assistant Attorney General, personally approved the first deportation in history of a Cuban refugee to Castro's island hell 13 years before the implementation of the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy? (the repatriated Cuban was a stowaway on a freighter, not a "criminal").
Which presidential candidate was put in charge, in 1981, of running the detention camps for the Mariel refugees?
Which presidential candidate refused to release 950 Cuban refugees detained at Fort Chaffee, in Arkansas, who had no criminal record, and, when prodded by the president as to the reason, replied in a June 6, 1982 memo that they had "problems that prevent their release," categorizing them as follows: "250 mentally ill and retarded; 400 anti-social; 100 homosexuals; 100 alcoholics or drug users; 100 women, elderly and handicapped." Imprisoning "anti-social" elements appears to be an anticipation of Castro's own "preventative incarceration" of dissidents for "social dangerousness" except that these captives were to be detained indefinitely.
Which presidential candidate, in charge also of 1050 Cubans jailed in Atlanta who had been labelled "criminals" by the Castro regime, wanted to deport them en masse without reviewing their cases on an individual basis and even went to court to obtain an order to that effect?
Which presidential candidate, charged with overseeing INS operations, refused to allow 23,000 Cubans whose visas were approved by the previous administration to enter the U.S., including 1500 political prisoners and their families?
Which presidential candidate, as Assistant Attorney General, was the first to refer to Cubans fleeing Castro's tyranny as "entrants" rather than refugees?
Which presidential candidate refused for three years (his entire tenure at DOJ) to regularize the immigration status of the Mariel refugees, whom, apparently, he still had hopes of deporting en masse to Cuba?
Which presidential candidate, then in charge of filling vacant positions at the Justice Department, chose Doris Meissner, a holdover from the previous Democratic administration, as Acting Commissioner of INS, which position she held for a year until Reagan appointed his own man to the job; and then, unwilling to lose her services, secured her appointment as Associate Executive Commissioner, the #3 position at INS? Meissner, notoriously hostile to Cuban refugees, oversaw the implementtation of the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy when Clinton appointed her INS Commissioner. It was Meissner, this man's protégé, who orquestrated the kidnapping and deportation of Elián González.
Who is this man, then an Assistant Attorney General in the Reagan administration and now a GOP candidate for president who hopes to revive his flagging campaign in Florida?
The notoriously pro-Castro Village Voice (Nat Hentoff exempted) dedicated its cover story this week ["Rudy's Alien Nation: Much as He Hates to Admit It, Giuliani Loved (Most of) Those Huddled Masses"] to reminding everybody that Rudy Giuliani was once partial to all immigrants except Cuban-Americans. Of course, the Voice has many accounts to settle with the former New York City mayor and is no doubt hoping that by turning Cuban-Americans against him they can secure his defeat in Florida, and, hopefully, his withdrawal from the race in which he was the front runner before the start of the primary season.
Although its motives are as dubious as its disdain for both Giuliani and Cuban exiles is apparent, the fact remains that Giuliani did everything which reporter Wayne Barrett enumerates in his article. It may be hard for Giuliani to transform himself into a xenophobe to conform to the expectations of a majority of Republicans. But, in the case of Cuban exiles, he was a xenophobe before it became popular to be one again, 15 years before even Newt Gingrich.
Something for Cuban-American voters in Florida to consider, certainly.