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[Congressional Record: July 14, 2000 (Extensions)]
[Page E1240-E1241]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []



                          HON. DARLENE HOOLEY

                               of oregon

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, July 13, 2000

  Ms. HOOLEY of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of a family 
that I have come to know very well in my time in Congress.
  Julian and Veronica Mart and their children Paul and Adelina fled 
their homeland of Romania in the turmoil surrounding the downfall of 
communism. They came to the United States, like so many others before 
them, seeking its promise, and fleeing from a country where the freedom 
we cherish was unknown. They fled tyranny and persecution and wanted 
nothing more than to live out the American dream, to make a better life 
for themselves and their children.
  When they entered America, Lady Liberty welcomed them to our shores--
but the INS did not. The INS has done everything in its considerable 
powers to deny the Marts the opportunity to live the American dream. 

[[Page E1241]]

denied their application for political asylum, despite credible 
evidence that they faced retribution from the Romanian government if 
they returned home. And now INS bureaucrats have denied their 
application under the Diversity Visa program--on a technicality. The 
INS has done a great injustice to this family that must be made right. 
If it is not, the Marts may be deported.
  The Marts have made a great impact on their community and have become 
well-loved by their friends and neighbors. I have here signatures from 
over 700 people who believe the Marts should be allowed to stay in the 
country. What is truly remarkable about this is that these signatures 
were gathered by teenage girls, friends of Adelina Mart who love her so 
much and believe so strongly in her cause that they have made this 
effort to help her.
  Even the Honorable Robert Jones, a federal judge who heard the Marts' 
case against the INS, agrees that their treatment has been unjust. In 
handing down his opinion, he said, ``The Marts are good people. They 
are highly intelligent, creative people. . . . And this is where they--
in my view, this is the country where they belong. . . . The person was 
given the lottery opportunity, was denied that opportunity on a 
technicality, and it just isn't right in my opinion.''
  America has always been a city upon a hill and a light unto the 
world. And throughout our history America has welcomed those who have 
been driven from their homelands by hunger, government tyranny, 
religious persecution, and poverty. We must not allow this proud legacy 
to die. We must not drive away those whom we should welcome with open 
arms. We must not allow this injustice to stand. And we must not allow 
the INS to deport this family.