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The Elian Cover-up
The Weekly Standard ^ | 04/15/2002 | Christopher Caldwell

Posted on 04/14/2002 9:11:12 PM PDT by Pokey78

New evidence suggests that INS chief Doris Meissner knew that Elian's father was acting under duress. And that she tried to suppress it.

REPORTER ALFONSO CHARDY wrote an important but little-noticed article for last Wednesday's Miami Herald. It adds to the proofs that we never got the whole story behind the Clinton administration's case for deporting 6-year-old boat person Elian Gonzalez back to Fidel Castro's Cuba. Young Elian had fled the island on a rickety raft in November 1999, with a mother who drowned on the voyage.

On January 5, 2000, INS commissioner Doris Meissner ordered that Elian be sent back to his father and to Fidel Castro--an order that was enforced three months later when Attorney General Janet Reno sent shock troops with automatic weapons to spirit Elian from the Miami home where he had been staying with his uncles.

Meissner's main grounds were that Elian should be with his closest remaining relative, and in this she claimed to be arguing from precedent. "Family reunification," Meissner said, "has long been a cornerstone of both American immigration law and INS practice." Sure. But as we noted in The Weekly Standard at the time, unifying families has generally meant bringing them together in free societies, not repressive ones. No one ever suggested in the 1970s that we return refusenik relatives to Brezhnev's Russia, or in the 1980s that Sandinista opponents in Miami be sent to Nicaragua to be forcibly reunited with their persecuted families.

Meissner never addressed the evidence that Juan Miguel Gonzalez was acting under coercion when he requested his son be sent back to Cuba. If Chardy's story is correct, she may even have suppressed such evidence. An unrelated complaint by an INS agent brought to light a memo written by INS attorney Rebeca Sanchez-Roig on December 29, 1999--a week before Meissner made her decision to send Elian back. (The memo was unearthed by the Washington watchdog group Judicial Watch.) According to Sanchez-Roig, INS officials believed Elian's father was being monitored by the Cuban government when he made the angry calls to the United States demanding Elian's return. He also may have previously sought to immigrate to the United States.

The INS--i.e. Meissner, reporting to Reno, reporting to President Clinton--rejected out of hand Elian's standing to apply for political asylum (PA). But that was apparently not the advice Meissner received from Sanchez-Roig, who said that the U.S. government could "potentially accept the child's asylum's application and advise that there is no prohibition on age to child filing application. As such PA should proceed."

And that is far from the most infuriating revelation. According to Chardy, "Hand-scrawled notes at the bottom of the two-page memo said then-INS Commissioner Doris Meissner ordered the destruction of the memo one day after it was written when she learned of its existence. According to the notes, Meissner ordered that no more discussions related to Elian be committed to writing." Luckily for the cause of truth, someone at the INS had forwarded the e-mail out of the system by the time Meissner tried to sweep over her traces.

Reuters recently noted that Juan Miguel Gonzalez told Cuba's state-run newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth) that his son, when he grows up, "wants to be a policeman, a TV artist or an astronaut." The paper's censors must have thought the astronaut remark indicated that Elian is comfortable enough in Castro's Cuba to want to play a role in it someday. To our ears, it indicated a boy who would prefer to live in a country that has a space program.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: castrowatch
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1 posted on 04/14/2002 9:11:12 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
We should ahve kept Elian and shipped Michael Moore to Cuba.
2 posted on 04/14/2002 9:17:14 PM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: Pokey78
I said at the time. "We should invite the entire family to the United States so they can enjoy our hospitality for a week or so before we Elian home." That way Castro would have no hostages.
3 posted on 04/14/2002 9:19:00 PM PDT by Calculus_of_Consent
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To: Incorrigible
Think they would take moore anyway???? We could offer a trade, or just give moore to castro.
4 posted on 04/14/2002 9:21:56 PM PDT by Jewels1091
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To: Pokey78
Yesterday I spent some time with a family member who arrived here about six years ago. He was a "winner" in Cuba's visa lottery.

He was one of over six million who applied.

Cuba has about eleven million people.

5 posted on 04/14/2002 9:22:23 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: Pokey78
"Family reunification," Meissner said, "has long been a cornerstone of both American immigration law and INS practice."

And family reunification at gunpoint has been a cornerstone of Janet Reno's administration. Meanwhile IN FLORIDA as Elian is hauled away at gunpoint by a SWAT team, Mohammad Atta and his Al Qaida buddies were taking flying lessons!!

The INS is a fiasco.

6 posted on 04/14/2002 9:38:11 PM PDT by rageaholic
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To: Luis Gonzalez
He was one of over six million who applied. Cuba has about eleven million people.

I never saw those statistics before but I certainly do believe them. Glad your friend got out.

7 posted on 04/14/2002 9:58:27 PM PDT by PoisedWoman
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To: Luis Gonzalez
What happened with the big event with Judicial Watch last Wednesday...another damp squib...?
8 posted on 04/14/2002 10:01:37 PM PDT by spokeshave
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To: *Castro Watch

9 posted on 04/14/2002 10:06:04 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: PoisedWoman

Radio Free Republic Presents

A Very Special Edition Of The Banana Republican Hour

With your host Luis Gonzalez

This week’s guest:

INS whistleblower Rick Martinez!


10 posted on 04/14/2002 10:10:59 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: spokeshave
Check out post #10
11 posted on 04/14/2002 10:11:25 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: Pokey78
Another crack in the dam of the Elian Gonzales story.

A little more truth comes out.

12 posted on 04/14/2002 10:31:52 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: Calculus_of_Consent
There were always rumors that the father was told that if he and Elian did not come back, other members of his family would be harmed. He was married with children and I do not believe they came. Several Republican Senators including Jesse Helms wanted to on the minimum give Elian citizenship or some kind of special status that would have allowed him automatic re-entry into the U.S. when he turned 18. The dems shot this down.
13 posted on 04/14/2002 11:11:33 PM PDT by Sonny M
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To: rageaholic
"And family reunification at gunpoint has been a cornerstone of Janet Reno's administration. Meanwhile IN FLORIDA as Elian is hauled away at gunpoint by a SWAT team, Mohammad Atta and his Al Qaida buddies were taking flying lessons!! "

. . .bump for Elian. . .bump, for sanity. . .

14 posted on 04/15/2002 2:00:56 AM PDT by cricket
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To: Sonny M
Do not know how these Lib-Left-Democrats live with themselves; but they do it with the greatest of arrogance. . .by ignoring or denying all truth.

"People of the Lie". . .

and a bump for Elian. . .

15 posted on 04/15/2002 2:10:30 AM PDT by cricket
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To: jtill
FYI
16 posted on 04/15/2002 4:34:21 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher
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To: Pokey78
And that is far from the most infuriating revelation. According to Chardy, "Hand-scrawled notes at the bottom of the two-page memo said then-INS Commissioner Doris Meissner ordered the destruction of the memo one day after it was written when she learned of its existence. According to the notes, Meissner ordered that no more discussions related to Elian be committed to writing." Luckily for the cause of truth, someone at the INS had forwarded the e-mail out of the system by the time Meissner tried to sweep over her traces.

Word that Enron execs destroyed documents prompts a huge hue and cry of outrage, Doris Meissner orders INS docs destroyed and there is nary a raised eyebrow....

17 posted on 04/15/2002 4:45:29 AM PDT by xsmommy
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To: Pokey78
The INS--i.e. Meissner, reporting to Reno, reporting to President Clinton--rejected out of hand Elian's standing to apply for political asylum

I see, Reno and Clinton are the victims here, being mislead every step of the way by old Doris.

18 posted on 04/15/2002 11:50:42 AM PDT by bjs1779
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To: Pokey78
Jeff Jacoby's three part series on Cuba- "A walk in Havana" - "Keeping hope, conscience alive in Cuba" - "The US embargo and Cuba's future"--[Excerpt] And make no mistake: Doing business with Cuba means doing business with Castro. There is no private property in Cuba, no private enterprise, no private employers. Foreign investors must deal with the government. They cannot hire Cuban workers directly; a government agency chooses their workers for them. The investors pay Castro - in hard currency - for each worker; Castro in turn pays the workers a fraction of that amount - in all-but-worthless pesos. So long as Cuba's dictator maintains his stranglehold on every aspect of Cuban life, ending the embargo would be counterproductive. It would do nothing to end the far more restrictive embargo that Castro imposes on the Cuban nation. It would give him the propaganda victory and the US dollars he craves, but it would do little to bring liberty or hope to ordinary Cuban citizens. Every president since JFK has extended the Cuban embargo; to lift it in exchange for nothing - no free elections, no civil liberties - would be a betrayal of the very people we want to help. ''Tiende tu mano a Cuba,'' says Paya when I ask what he thinks of American policy, ''pero primero pide que le desaten las manos a los cubanos.'' Extend your hands to Cuba - but first unshackle ours.[End Excerpt]

Fidel Castro - Cuba

19 posted on 04/15/2002 3:33:39 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife, Republic
"New evidence suggests that INS chief Doris Meissner knew that Elian's father was acting under duress. And that she tried to suppress it."

We all knew 1) Elian's father was acting under duress; 2) meissner, clinton, and reno knew it, too, and also knew what was at stake for Eliancito (loss of freedom), but coldly acted to hand him over anyway. I cannot understand such cold actions. I cannot dwell long in thought on them, either.

My sorrow for Elian remains...and for us all at what we have all lost. I wish more people would realize that, but there is only so much that we can do. May God bless our efforts as we do what we can, but especially as we look after our primary responsibilities -- for me, my precious family and relationship with God.

20 posted on 04/19/2002 7:16:43 PM PDT by cyn
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To: Luis Gonzalez, cricket
And another bump for the good guys. Thanks for all your efforts, Luis, and for showcasing other good guys -- God bless you!

I echo cricket's bump for sanity, though I do not hold out hope for finding it in this mess. A little boy and the country were used for perverse political means and protection -- that's cold and insane. -- cynic#456,789

21 posted on 04/19/2002 7:22:51 PM PDT by cyn
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To: cyn
<p.For my friend...the fisherman.

22 posted on 04/19/2002 9:38:50 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: cyn
Hi cyn. Bump for families living in freedom and a bump to remember those who don't.
23 posted on 04/20/2002 1:11:28 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: cyn
"A little boy and the country were used for perverse political means and protection -- that's cold and insane. "

ThankYOU Cyn. . .

. . .this travesty must remain firmly etched in America's consciousness; we cannot have Elian become a fuzzy memory in the 'public mind'. . .

. . .have been trying to find 'updated' information re Elian by way of 'Elian' sites. . .but cannot find any that are current. Are there any?

. . .with prayers and a Bump for Elian. . .

24 posted on 04/20/2002 6:20:18 AM PDT by cricket
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Good morning, Luis; hope you are having a good weekend. That image didn't load for me, sorry to say. Take care.
25 posted on 04/21/2002 4:51:41 AM PDT by cyn
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To: Cincinatus' Wife, cricket
I will never forget, and am thankful that FreeRepublic kept me in touch with other likeminded people through that painful time. With prayers for Elian and those who suffer around the world...
26 posted on 04/21/2002 4:56:40 AM PDT by cyn
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To: cyn
I COULDN'T GET IT EITHER
(ROADRUNNER)
27 posted on 04/21/2002 5:00:34 AM PDT by DeaconRed
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To: Voter#537
It poped up now.
Good One! ! ! !
28 posted on 04/21/2002 5:02:53 AM PDT by DeaconRed
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Hello CW, I knew I would find you here with good information. It is so painful to remember what happened to the little boy, and to face how we ignore Castro's communism.
29 posted on 04/21/2002 5:12:57 AM PDT by Angelique
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To: Pokey78
You post great articles, and I so appreciate them, but this is a no brainer.
30 posted on 04/21/2002 5:16:04 AM PDT by Angelique
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To: Pokey78
Evil is the denial of love, light and life.

Evil is an acronym for:

E - every

V - villain

I - is

L - Liberal

The Miami Gonzales family are truly inspiring and heroic.

Anyone who would vote to elect Clinton or Reno is your enemy, the enemy of America.

31 posted on 04/21/2002 5:29:23 AM PDT by Stallone
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To: Pokey78
Ah yes ---we are now free of the Castro/Clinton/Reno regime which pulled off one of the greatest abductions before millions of (brain-dead?) TV viewers. Isn't the Bush/Ashcroft/Arafat administration much better?
32 posted on 04/21/2002 5:40:45 AM PDT by RamRoss
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To: Stallone, Luis Gonzalez, Cincinatus Wife, cyn, Aloha ronnie, Poised Woman
"Anyone who would vote to elect Clinton or Reno is your enemy, the enemy of America."

Well said.

More than any other Clinton crime, the Elian Gonzalez abduction, kidnapping, and brut thug forced return to Cuba's Communist Gulag identified the Clinton administration as the Godless, brutal, communistic, criminal regime that it was.

Some day - one day - the people of Cuba - and Elian will be free! We will ALWAYS continue to pray, work, and lobby for this!

33 posted on 04/21/2002 5:49:46 AM PDT by Freedom'sWorthIt
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To: Freedom'sWorthIt
Bump!
34 posted on 04/21/2002 9:29:35 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Bump back atcha! :-)
35 posted on 04/21/2002 5:41:56 PM PDT by Freedom'sWorthIt
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To: Pokey78; Howlin
According to Sanchez-Roig, INS officials believed Elian's father was being monitored by the Cuban government when he made the angry calls to the United States demanding Elian's return. He also may have previously sought to immigrate to the United States.

The INS--i.e. Meissner, reporting to Reno, reporting to President Clinton--rejected out of hand Elian's standing to apply for political asylum (PA). But that was apparently not the advice Meissner received from Sanchez-Roig, who said that the U.S. government could "potentially accept the child's asylum's application and advise that there is no prohibition on age to child filing application. As such PA should proceed."

And that is far from the most infuriating revelation. According to Chardy, "Hand-scrawled notes at the bottom of the two-page memo said then-INS Commissioner Doris Meissner ordered the destruction of the memo one day after it was written when she learned of its existence. According to the notes, Meissner ordered that no more discussions related to Elian be committed to writing." Luckily for the cause of truth, someone at the INS had forwarded the e-mail out of the system by the time Meissner tried to sweep over her traces.

An enraged bump. Howlin, I've pinged you here because I remember we debated this issue. With all due respect to your position regarding parental rights, here is some evidence that Juan Miguel was acting under duress. Had both he and Elian been granted their day in court, we could have known the truth.

It is a sound, respectable debate about the rights of a child to seek asylum versus the wishes of the parents. But when the Clinton Administration got involved, the debate was bastardized.

36 posted on 07/31/2002 3:46:54 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Pokey78
But that was apparently not the advice Meissner received from Sanchez-Roig, who said that the U.S. government could "potentially accept the child's asylum's application and advise that there is no prohibition on age to child filing application. As such PA should proceed."

A position subsequently upheld by the 11th Circuit.

37 posted on 07/31/2002 3:51:25 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: dirtboy
Regardless of what my position was at that time, I made it and stood by it based on what I knew at that time. And you know my position was based on the written law.

Now, being presented with facts that change that equation -- AND investigated by no less than Christopher Caldwell, who I respect as a journalist -- it would be foolish of me to stick to that position now, wouldn't it?

Unless, of course, I was a butthead, which, as most of you know, I am not......LOL. Perhaps, in hindsight, I should have realized that every single word that came out of that administration was a lie.

If I could have one wish, it would be that George W. Bush would rid the government of these lying, thieving, immoral people. I don't think that's a lot to ask; and it would be more than enough for me, regardless of whatever else he does while he's in office.

I would so dearly like to be able to BELIEVE the people who run my government.

38 posted on 07/31/2002 3:54:17 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Why is our state department bent on amnestying a bunch of Mexican illegals that will 'citizenize' in the dimocrp party and turning down so many Cubans (who probably will *not* vote dimocrap?)? What is Cuba's quota anyway?
39 posted on 07/31/2002 3:58:47 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Howlin
That mine rescue has re-established much of my faith -- had Goron been Prez the permits to pump the water out would have been refused on the grounds the miners had stopped tapping and were dead anyway.

Happy to see that you have admitted to being misled by the masters of appearances-only in this sad affair of a young boy escaped from the prison isle, only to be dragged back to it.

40 posted on 07/31/2002 4:01:49 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Howlin
Well, in retrospect, I wish I had done better in separating my contempt for the Clinton Administration's actions from the principled arguments raised by those who favored the rights of parents. But in the end, I decried that the Clinton Administration circumvented due process and denied both Elian and his father their day in court, where this should have been decided. Courts have a significant ability to cut through the bullsh**, as you well know. And that is where it should have ended up, in the courts. Had it ended up there, there would have been a lot less acrimony among good conservatives. And that's probably one reason why Slick did what he did - because he realized he had a wedge issue, and proceeded to pound on it every damn chance he got. When I see that Doris Messner was covering up salient facts, it drives me nuts. It shouldn't, because the whole stinkin' bunch is a warren of rabid weasels ... but it still does.
41 posted on 07/31/2002 4:02:44 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Pokey78
I knew something was up when (among other things) Clinton sequested Gonzalez at Andrews Air Force Base and refused to allow Senator Bob Smith to enter.

Imagine that! A United States Senator is refused access to Andrews Air Force Base while Cuban "diplomats" were given free run of the place.

Imagine that! Cuban "diplomats" were given free run of the place where Air Force One and Marine One are hangared.

Talk about security risks!

-PJ

42 posted on 07/31/2002 4:05:43 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too
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To: dirtboy
Actually, what the Clinton administration did was withhold VITAL INFORMATION and KNOWLEDGE that would have changed the course of the legal process.

I believe the case went through the proper procedures BASED ON THE FACTS KNOWN at the time; that being said, if THIS information had been made public, the case may have taken quiet a different path.

43 posted on 07/31/2002 4:10:57 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: Howlin
Exactly. Had they revealed that there was evidence that Juan Miguel was acting under duress, there would have been validity to Elian's asylum petition. And for the Clintonistas, with a clear knowledge of this potential duress, to allow Castro's goons to come to this country and control Juan Miguel's movements, is one of the most despicable actions of a completely despicable administration. If Juan Miguel had been free to appear in court and ask for his son to return with him to Cuba, I would have accepted that with few reservations. But that never happened...
44 posted on 07/31/2002 4:16:47 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Howlin
.....investigated by no less than Christopher Caldwell, who I respect as a journalist....

Hmmmm.....January 29, 2000 by Christopher Caldwell

45 posted on 07/31/2002 4:50:38 PM PDT by DeSoto
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To: Howlin; dirtboy
There have been a few people who have changed their minds on this issue dirtboy, Howlin is one of them. We (Howlin and I) disagreed violently on this issue back during the Elian wars.

It takes more balls than what I have to come out and admit to it like she has, openly, and exposed to those who may take advantage of her candid response to you.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for her.
46 posted on 07/31/2002 7:05:00 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Actually, all it takes is being able to understand plain Enlgish, something we were denied at the time, apparently.
47 posted on 07/31/2002 7:08:04 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: Luis Gonzalez; Howlin
I have a tremendous amount of respect for her.

I do, too. It was a very difficult time, and that rat bastard Clinton saw it to be a divisive issue for conservatives, and played it for all it was worth. But screw the jerk, conservatives are bigger than one issue, and we won, and then, once the facts came out, reconciled. And that is what divides us from the Clintonistas. Democrats regard facts the way vampires regard garlic. But for conservatives, the facts are what bind us together. And that is why I believe we will eventually win...

48 posted on 07/31/2002 7:10:08 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Black Agnes
Cuba has no quote per say. There is an agreed number of visas that Castro will issue yearly for people wishing to immigrate to the US, but any Cuban national who can get out, can petition for political asylum, and it is granted nearly every time.

That's known as the Cuban Adjustment Act, Clinton perverted the legislation by interpreting it to mean that only those who reached US shores could ask for asylum, and those intercepted at sea were returned to Cuba...AKA "wet feet, dry feet".
49 posted on 07/31/2002 7:10:33 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: Howlin
Actually, all it takes is being able to understand plain Enlgish, something we were denied at the time, apparently.

One word - "is". Play games with that, and anything is possible.

50 posted on 07/31/2002 7:11:14 PM PDT by dirtboy
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