I AM RELEASING herewith the final report on Cuban refugee problems by Tracy Voorhees who has been acting as my personal representative in this matter.
In appointing Mr. Voorhees for this task last November, and in giving him funds and added powers on December 2, I sought to express by effective action the interest which, as President of the United States, I felt in these troubled people, as well as my deep sympathy for them and desire to be of help to them.
This latest exodus of persons fleeing from Communist oppression is the first time in many years in which our nation has become the country of first asylum for any such number of refugees. To grant such asylum is in accordance with the long standing traditions of the United States. Our people opened their homes and hearts to the Hungarian refugees four years ago. I am sure we will do no less for these distressed Cubans.
I would like to pay public tribute to Mr. Voorhees for his willingness once again to give of his time and energy in the public interest. Steps have been initiated to implement his additional recommendations including the assignment of State Department personnel evacuated from Cuba to the Refugee Center in Miami.