Garcia-Mir v. Meese

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Garcia-Mir v. Meese
Court United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Full case name Moises Garcia-Mir, Rafael Fernandez-Roque, et al. v. United States Attorney General Edwin Meese, III, et al.
Decided April 23 1986
Citation(s) 788 F.2d 1446, 54 USLW 2561, 1986 U.S. App. LEXIS 24696
Case history
Prior action(s) Claims upheld by United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, appealed to 11th Circuit.
Northern District of Georgia ruling partially upheld and partially overturned; plaintiffs were found to have been detained illegally under international law, but that this was superseded by the "controlling executive act" ordered by Meese.
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting Circuit Judges Robert Smith Vance, Frank Minis Johnson, Senior Circuit Judge Clarence W. Allgood
Case opinions
Majority Johnson, joined by Vance, Allgood
Laws applied
8 U.S.C. § 1227, U.S. Const. Amends. V, XIV

Garcia-Mir v. Meese, 788 F.2d 1446 (11th Cir. 1986), was a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which ruled that the United States could detain indefinitely Cuban refugees who had arrived during the Mariel boatlift.


In 1980, the Cuban economy suffered a severe downturn. 10,000 Cubans attempted to gain asylum at the Peruvian Embassy in Havana, leading Fidel Castro and the Cuban government to allow anyone who wished so to leave the country via the Port of Mariel. Unknown to the United States, many of those permitted to leave had recently been released from prisons and mental institutions. In response to the mass number of exiles entering the country, the Carter administration and Congress passed the Refugee Education Assistance Act (8. U.S.C. § 1522), which allowed for the resettlement of and assistance to recent Cuban immigrants, as well as incarceration and deportation for particular Cuban nationals.

U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, with the approval of President Reagan, proposed splitting the recent arrivals into two classes: one containing those previously convicted of crimes in Cuba, and another for those Cubans with no criminal records. Both classes were held at the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia.

Moises Garcia-Mir and Rafael Fernandez-Roque, upon their arrival in Florida, were detained as possible security threats in Atlanta to await possible deportation. They brought their case to court and asserted a violation of both the due process clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, citing Attorney General Meese as having abridged their right to due process. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia agreed with their claims, whereupon the Justice Department appealed to the Eleventh Circuit.



See also


External links

Garcia-Mir v. Meese (788 F.2d 1446); full text of the Circuit Court decision.