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Crying Cuban Begs Not To Be Deported

April 3, 1985

ATLANTA (AP) _ One man cried and promised to stay out of trouble and another begged for a solution because he’s ″going crazy″ in federal prison as a judge heard evidence on whether to deport two dozen Cuban refugees.

″I will never do this again,″ Eduardo Crespo, 22, who is facing deportation because of a cocaine possession charge, told U.S. District Judge Charles A. Moye Jr. on Tuesday.

Crespo is one of about two dozen Cuban refugees housed at the federal penitentiary here whose deportation last month was blocked by a federal court. Moye did not indicate Tuesday whether he would extend the temporary restraining order or when he would rule.

Four other Cubans had different pleas when they appeared before Moye for a separate hearing earlier Tuesday. All four told the judge they would rather go back to Cuba than stay in the Atlanta prison.

″If I can’t be released right away, please send me to Cuba,″ said Jorge Rosabal. ″If I go back to Cuba now, I don’t know what will happen to me.″ But he said it would be better than in prison ″because I’m already going crazy.″

Moye ordered the four brought into his courtroom because the federal court clerk had received letters from some Cuban prisoners saying they wanted to be deported. The authenticity of those letters was in question because, in some cases, the handwriting did not match that of the prisoner.

The detainees were among the 125,000 refugees who sailed to Key West from the Cuban port of Mariel in the spring of 1980. About 2,700 of the Cubans have been identified by the federal government as undesirable because of criminal records or mental illness and they are scheduled to be deported under an agreement reached in December with Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Two planeloads of Cubans have been deported.

But Crespo and about two dozen others were kept off the second flight under an order from Moye, based on last-minute appeals. Their attorneys are seeking to reopen the exclusion hearings which resulted in their deportation orders.