Collection CHC0218 - Cuban Refugee Center Records

Open original Digital object

Identity elements

Reference code

CHC0218

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Collection

Title

Cuban Refugee Center Records

Date(s)

  • 1960-1994 (Creation)

Extent

109 Boxes

Name of creator

Administrative history

The Cuban Refugee Program was authorized by the President of the United States in February 1961. Federal assistance for Cuban refugees had begun in 1960 under President Eisenhower in response to the growing number of Cubans fleeing the Castro regime. President John F. Kennedy, recognizing that the situation was beyond the scope of individual states and volunteer agencies, assigned responsibility to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW), at the time Abraham Ribicoff, who delegated implementation and administration to William L. Mitchell, Commissioner of Social Security. The “Migration and Refugee Assistance Act,” enacted in 1962, provided the legislative basis for the program and authorized appropriations. The Florida State Department of Public Welfare, representing the federal government, set up an office in Miami for the assistance, child welfare services and medical care of Cuban refugees.

The Miami Cuban Refugee Emergency Center, located at the Freedom Tower, 600 Biscayne Boulevard, became the focal point of refugee registration, assistance, relief and resettlement, as well as coordination of government and independent agencies’ programs. Federal funding provided for the center’s operations, record keeping, publications, coordination of agencies and research on different aspects of the refugee situation, as well as for programs. The latter included financial assistance, educational loans, health care, adult education and re-training, resettlement and care of unaccompanied children. By 1962 between 1500 and 2000 Cubans were arriving weekly.

In 1963 the newly formed Welfare Administration succeeded Social Security in overseeing the Cuban Refugee Program. The decrease in influx of refugees following the cessation of regular flights and the implementation of programs such as home visits facilitated the transition from crisis response to a more efficient, better organized program.

In the years to come, however, the program would have to adapt to new emergency situations such as the arrival of Bay of Pigs Brigade 2506 prisoners in 1963 and the Camarioca boatlift of 1965. Perhaps the most taxing year was 1980 when the Mariel boatlift brought more than 125,000 Cubans to the United States. Simultaneously, Haitian refugees had started to arrive in growing numbers. The federal government declared a state of emergency and charged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with processing and assisting the entrants. On July of the same year the Cuban-Haitian Task Force (CHTF) was created to coordinate federal resources in support of county and state efforts, and to address community problems related to the influx of refugees into the Miami area, replacing FEMA in this capacity.

The Center closed its last location on Ponce de Leon Boulevard and 8th Street on July 1994, after more than three decades of providing assistance to thousands of refugees. Its archives were donated to Professor Juan Clark of Miami-Dade College who in turn donated them to the Cuban Heritage Collection.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Cuban Refugee Center Records include correspondence, reports, publications, photographs, and clippings created and collected by the Cuban Refugee Center (CRC), in Miami in 1960 as part of a federal program to assist Cubans arriving at the United States as political refugees.

System of arrangement

The Cuban Refugee Center Records are organized into seven series. 

Please refer to the Finding Aid/Inventory section for more information about the organization of this collection.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research. Box 108 contains confidential documents from the collection and has been restricted.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please, contact chc@miami.edu for more information.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Spanish

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Juan M. Clark

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Selected materials from this collection have been digitized.

https://merrick.library.miami.edu/cubanHeritage/chc0218/

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Digital object metadata

Filename

chc0218CL.pdf

Latitude

Longitude

Media type

Text

Mime-type

application/pdf

Filesize

260.1 KiB

Uploaded

May 18, 2018 5:14 PM

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