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United States should put a requirement that they be subjected to ten years of this before they are even eligible to come here as a political prisoner. That is a fact.

A number of us have been making efforts, not notably successful thus far, to change that. I commend it to your attention. It does us a terrible disservice. I don't know how we figure out that we are hurting Castro by doing this.

The blunt fact is that even if that proviso were not in, there would be no flood of political prisoners that Castro would be letting out of his jails in order to resettle in the United States. The number would be greater. But we give the world a skewed understanding of our own psyche when we impose a restraint of that kind.

There is much more that I would like to add, but if I leave you with nothing else, I suppose being in a particualr activity, or job, or carrying a particular responsibility, after a while inures you, if that responsibility contains any humane or compassionate attributes, to feeling the pain the people you are dealing with feel. It is a survival mechanism. It is very hard to sustain a level of indignation or compassion.

I wish there was some way that legislatively, or otherwise, one could inject some sense of deeper compassion in the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Of all of the outreach aspects of the American Government, this one has for many years been a serious impediment to our conveying the very best that is in our nature. Let me just conclude with that and spell it out, because I think I may here disagree with one observation, Senator Nunn, that you made when you opened these hearings. You referred to the fact of this country being a traditional country of asylum. We have been more generous than any other country, other than several of the very small Scandinavian countries, but we go through an ebb and flow of generosity. We close our door tight during certain intervals, and then open them, sometimes open them very wide, and then close them tight again.

We are now going through, and have been for the last several years, a growing xenophobia in this country. It's background is understandable. First of all, there is, in a phrase I used in a press conference in Thailand, compassion fatigue, because we have been at this now a long time, this most recent wave of worldwide refugee flow.

In addition, we have been struggling for a number of years, and we still have a very serious problem on our hands, with unemployment. There is a too easy assumption that those people are going to take the jobs that otherwise would be filled by Americans. The reality is that refugees will take jobs that would not be filled by Americans.

I don't think that there is one in 100 Americans who has the realization that during the eight years which followed the rise of Hitler in Germany, the United States had no refugee policy whatsoever, which is a polite way of saying, no mechanism to permit the entry of refugees during that entire period of time. Those who did come here, including some extraordinary scientists, came here through the regular quota system, often with a little pressure from some people on the Hill, but our doors were closed.

One of the more shocking episodes was the episode of the S.S. St. Louis, which was a very clever plan, attributed to Adolph Hitler personally. He permitted one ship, an attractive oceanliner, to be filled with Jews covering the entire spectrum of Jewish life in Germany at that time. This was June, 1939.

He secured for them permission to land in Cuba. They had to pay double the fare because, you see, they would be left in Cuba, and that ship would be traveling back empty. The ship contained a fair percentage of concentration camp victims as well, because it was a spectrum. What Hitler was relying on, part of his own mania, and it turned out to be prophetic in this instance, was that nobody would take them.

The ship went to Cuba and Cuba didn't take them. They hung around the Harbor of Havana for four weeks, and it finally had to move on because it was running out of fuel and water. It went over to the Florida shore in the hopes that the United States would take them. President Roosevelt personally issued an order that that ship could not come within 12 miles of the United States.

It went back to Europe. The European countries were not eager—the non-German European countries were not eager to give sanctuary to this group. Finally, in desperation, they did, but the time lost was so critical that, unfortunately, of the 460-some odd passengers on that ship-a film has been made of it, incidentally, "Voyage of the Damned"- four-fifths of that group died in concentration camps, because they entered the countries which gave them asylum just in time for Hitler to launch his blitzkreig and pick up these prisoners.

I said one final note, but there is one additional point that I must make.

We like to think that we are doing this out of compassion, and by and large that is our motivation, but let us not forget the pragmatic side of this, and there is a pragmatic side.

Wassily Leontief, the Nobel Prize mathematician and economist, some years ago devised a correlation between periods of more than normal American prosperity with periods of high immigration. When one thinks of it, it is not surprising. Periods of high immigration bring lower costs, high energy, well-motivated employees to the United States. Even the Chinese who built the railroads fit those categories.

At the present time, we desperately need an infusion of the kind of orthodox education-I don't mean Soviet propaganda, but the Three Rs. The Soviet Union does a very good job of educating its youngsters in the Three Rs. It gives them a lot of ideological baggage in addition. Their work ethic has always been the high. The one thing that keeps the output low is that there is nothing that they can do with their money. That is their restraint, it is not lazi


Above all, they bring to this country something which this country and every country would always need. If you are enjoying freedom and it is not under challenge that notion has to be refreshed periodically. It doesn't normally arise in the human breast. Here are people who are capable of doing that at a time, as I say, when we are going to enter a period of euphoria in which reality is going to take to beating.

Therefore, you understand why I so value this opportunity, Mr. Chairman, to come before you and the other members of your subcommittee.

I did not have the opportunity to say, Senator Sasser, my pleasure to have this opportunity to testify before you.

Senator NUNN. Thank you very much, Mr. Cherne, for a most educational and, I must also say, inspiring testimony to our committee.

I don't think that you introduced your companion when you


Mr. CHERNE. I am sorry, that is a terrible neglect. Mr. Robert De Vecchi is the Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee. He directs our programs on four continents, as well as our resettlement effort in the United States. He was, himself, a member of the U.S. Foreign Service, when he suddenly got one of those irrational impulses that he was a little tired of dealing with abstract problems and wanted to get himself involved in the destiny of people.

Senator NUNN. We welcome you, sir. We appreciate your being here.

I just have a few questions, and I will defer to Senator Cohen and Senator Sasser. One question is: How much budget do you have in your International Rescue Mission per year? I don't want any private information, but generally speaking, where do you find the source of your financing?

Mr. CHERNE. Our budget will tend to run between $22 and $24 million in recent years. When I became chairman of the IRC, our budget was $50,000 and we couldn't make it. As a matter of fact, Reinhold Niebhur, who was my predecessor as chairman, asked me to undertake that responsibility for the purpose of liquidating the IRC. That was, curiously enough, at the very peak of the Cold War. Nevertheless, we could not raise our budget.

This year, the budget is $24 million. Not because the figure is significant by itself, but because it is so meaningful, year in and year out, between 10 and 12 percent of our total budget will be contributed by former refugees.

Senator NUNN. Former refugees?

Mr. CHERNE. Former refugees whom we have helped.

Senator NUNN. Does the U.S. Government put any money in?

Mr. CHERNE. Yes, the U.S. Government reimburses certain of the programs, generally certain resettlement programs of the IRC. The UNHCR will pay the minimum costs of certain other kinds of operations. For example, our major operation on the Sudan border of Ethiopia was one we would have had difficulty sustaining on our resources without an infusion of assistance by the UNHCR.

Let me also say, in connection with that program, the average American never heard of the ghastly tragedy that was imposed upon the Ethiopian people by its Marxist-Leninist government until a British film, a television film, in 1985 brought those terrifying pictures of starvation of children. The IRC was on that frontier in 1980.

Senator NUNN. You mentioned many different messages that we should take to heart this morning as well as legislatively, but getting right to the focus of our hearings, trying to determine what

the U.S. Government can and should do, and what we should not do, in improving overall performance in this area, you said that money is not the main problem. Although money is part of what is needed, but money is not the main problem. You, I believe, put your finger on employment, meaningful employment as being the main problem.

Mr. CHERNE. That is the main problem, but I hope I didn't leave the impression that money is no problem.

Senator NUNN. No, you didn't. I think I got the message. You didn't dismiss money, but you said that employment, meaning employment is the main problem. The government should not be the primary entity responsible for this.

Mr. CHERNE. It is my opinion, and also happens to be the judgment which, over these 50 years, the IRC has come to, having tried various formulas.

Senator NUNN. The government should not be the employer of last resort.

Mr. CHERNE. Right.

Senator NUNN. You clearly indicated that there needed to be some energizing way of getting the private sector more involved in this.

Mr. CHERNE. And government.

Senator NUNN. And government. Now the question I have: Do you have any specific suggestions about what we, as a committee, or what the government can do to help bring this to the attention of the private sector, the resources available from these people, the tremendous talents that they have over a period of time, and what they can contribute to individual entities, universities, and that kind of facility. Do you have any specific suggestions?

[At this point, Senator Sasser departed the hearing room.]

Mr. CHERNE. No, I do not have any specific suggestions. I will tell you one that I have been playing around with, trying to see the pros and cons of it during recent weeks, when I knew that I would be testifying here.

I don't have a very high opinion of the contribution which government appointed commissions tend to make. Some, however, do make very substantial contributions. There is no one I know who has come up with an answer to this that any of us persuaded is wholly satisfactory. We are dealing with a very difficult and very complicated subject.

In this case, I offer as a suggestion, I can't do so with 100 percent confidence, but it may well be that a well-selected body of both private and governmental people, acquainted with the subject, dealing with it, or maybe former governmental people who have been dealing with it, keeping the commission entirely private, ought to focus on this one subject: What can be done to enhance the opportunities for employment for refugees.

I would not restrict this committee's focus on the Soviet Union, the Soviet Bloc, I would not restrict their efforts. The IRC is resettling Ethiopians. We are resettling Iranians. We are resettling all of the Indochinese groups.

I sometimes wish someone would explain to me why the country which has suffered most in that Indochinese tragedy continues to be the country singled out to continue to suffer the most, and that

is Cambodia. The Cambodian refugee has much the hardest road, if he manages to escape from Cambodia.

I return to my suggestion. This would, in my opinion, form a group of people to give concentrated thought-what can be done, in a free society for defectors. In a sense, it is a dilemma similar to the dilemma the defector I talked of faces. He has a problem he can't solve. We have a problem we have not come up with an adequate answer to.

Now to come back to the business of money. One very tragic case, an IRC case, a defector case. A husband and wife, he was a very distinguished photographer, operating for the Soviet Union in Bonn. She was an executive secretary. They had a nice apartment. They had a car. Bonn is a very lovely little town. They defected. They came to the United States.

Refugees usually choose the agency which they wish to have as their resettlement agency. The State Department, if they go to the local embassy, may recommend to them a voluntary agency. Our work over a period of years, this is not just a self-serving statement, has earned the high respect of governments throughout the world.

In any event, they became the IRC cases. He was 65, and this was one of the big problems. We tried to find a job for him in his field. He happened to be almost paradigm of the cultural/emotional problem I talked of before. He is not one who could have readily accepted the job of parking cars.

Nearly nine out of ten doctors who escaped from Cuba in 1959 became car-parks in Miami Beach. They had no difficulty with that at all, and they didn't stay there very long. It was their way of now starting the steps of fulfilling the requirements to be permitted to practice medicine in the United States.

Four months passed, and he became more and more depressed. To assist in their economic problem, we suggested that it would be easier to find a job for his wife, while we continued with the effort to assist him. This upset him further because he was accustomed to the notion of the man being the breadwinner. He gave the IRC no notice that he was leaving. His message was quite simple: My homeland needs me more than you do. The two returned to the Soviet Union.

We did have a job for her. Tragically enough, within two weeks we had a documentary photographer's job for him as well, but he

was gone.

We receive reimbursement, $650 for each of the family. Our expenditures were well over $3,500 in that case, in that limited period of time. In the case of defectors especially, but only somewhat less true with emigres, a voluntary agency should feel its job is never over.

It doesn't mean intervening, sticking your nose in the affairs of these refugees if they have resettled themselves. But the particular person must have the feeling, if he runs into an emergency there will always be someone who, with real warmth, will counsel him. This should not be a job that comes to an end. I say the same for those who are in the hands of the government.

Senator NUNN. Thank you very much, Leo.
Senator Cohen.

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