Cuban Refugee Program, 1960-1970
The Cuban Revolution (July 26, 1953–January 1, 1959) sparked a wave of asylum seekers that steadily grew as the 1950s came to a close. In November 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower asked Tracy S. Voorhees to look into the growing refugee situation and serve as the President's Personal Representative for Cuban Refugees. This led to the establishment of the Cuban Refugee Emergency Center in Miami, FL. On January 27, 1961, President John F. Kennedy directed Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Abraham Ribicoff to conduct an investigation into Cuban refugee activities occurring under the direction of the Executive branch. Official state and locally-based volunteer welfare agencies struggled to keep up with the needs of asylum seekers. The Cuban Refugee program was the result of this effort to streamline refugee aid.
Records of the Cuban Refugee program are located in Record Group 363: Records of the Social and Rehabilitation Service. They largely focus on the administrative functions of the program at the agency level and the administration of the regional offices. Correspondence between state and local organizations is sometimes included. Some of the series include correspondence between the general public and agency representatives, but they do not include or serve as an exhaustive list of immigrants who participated in the program.
There are no naturalization records present. Please see the Additional Information section of the page for information about researching immigration and naturalization records.
For more detailed information about each of the following series, including information about what subjects are covered and the types of records therein, please click on the links provided below.
To research the public’s response to the program’s existence and management, consider records in A1 27, Cuban Refugee Program Decimal Files, 1961-1965 (NAID 7970146), A1 28, Name and Organization Files Related to the Cuban Refugee Program, 1962-1969 (NAID 7970147), and A1 40, Master Subject Files, 1960 - 1970 (NAID 7970155).
For genealogical research including recipients seeking additional aid and family members of asylum seekers hoping to arrange their arrival or locate their whereabouts, consider correspondence records in A1 27, Cuban Refugee Program Decimal Files, 1961-1965 (NAID 7970146) and A1 38, Cuban Refugee Program State Subject Files, 1960 - 1970 (NAID 7970154)
Researchers interested in administrative aspects of the program may consider A1 29, General Correspondence Related to the Cuban Refugee Program, 1966 - 1969 (NAID 7970148), A1 39, Regional Subject Files, 1960 - 6/25/1970 (NAID 24282031), and A1 40, Master Subject Files, 1960 - 1970 (NAID 7970155).
Records related to program matters at the state or regional level may be found in A1 38, Cuban Refugee Program State Subject Files, 1960 - 1970 (NAID 7970154) and A1 39, Regional Subject Files, 1960 - 6/25/1970 (NAID 24282031).
Researchers interested in more information on the immigration and naturalization records of Cuban immigrants should contact the appropriate National Archives research facility based on the subject’s point of entry and where they were resettled.