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[Congressional Record: May 2, 2001 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
IMMIGRATION RELIEF FOR THE SUPPORT STAFF OF FERDINAND MARCOS
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the
gentlewoman from Hawaii (Mrs. Mink) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mrs. MINK of Hawaii. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to re-introduce a bill
that provides immigration relief for the support staff of Ferdinand
Marcos. This bill is similar to H.R. 4370, which I introduced in the
In 1986, President Marcos of the Philippines was granted political
asylum in the United States to avert civil conflagration because of a
popular uprising against his regime. The civil unrest arose following a
controversial election in which President Marcos claimed to have
defeated Corazon Aquino but was widely accused of election fraud.
Growing street demonstrations in support of Mrs. Aquino raised fears of
violence against what many viewed as a fraudulent election result.
President Marcos left the Philippines on February 25, 1986 at U.S.
urging and went into exile in Hawaii.
President Marcos, his wife Imelda and 88 members of his staff and
their families were advised that they were being allowed into the
United States with ``parole'' status for the convenience of the U.S.
Government. This status is a legal fiction in which the individual is
physically present in the United States but had never been ``admitted''
to the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
can terminate parole status at any time. The individual can be treated
as if he or she had entered the United States illegally and had no
right to be here. In this case, it is extremely unfair.
INS has instituted proceedings to expel some of these individuals and
their families but not all of them. The only pattern which seems to
exist is that only individuals living in Hawaii are targeted for
removal or exclusion proceedings. Based on reports I have received, no
member of the Marcos entourage who moved to the mainland had been the
target of any exclusion, deportation or removal proceeding.
These immigrants were invited to the United States to help care for
President Marcos who was already ailing and died in 1989. They were
told that they could bring their families with them. They have been in
the United States for fourteen years and are fully integrated into our
society. These people should not be deported. They came to the U.S. for
an important reason. Because that reason is now past should not cause
us to turn against them.
To rectify this unfair treatment, the bill grants the individuals and
their families the right to remain in the United States. These honest,
hardworking people came to the United States at the invitation of our
government. Their presence was known and they have done nothing to
violate our immigration laws. To uproot them would be an injustice to
them and their families that we should not allow.
The exile Marcos government in Hawaii was instigated by the U.S. to
save the Philippines from political turmoil and rebellion. Those who
came to implement this policy to end civil unrest in the Philippines
should have the protection of this government.
I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
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