September 29, 1981
By the President of the United States of America
The ongoing migration of persons to the United States in violation of our laws is a serious national problem detrimental to the interests of the United States. A particularly difficult aspect of the problem is the continuing illegal migration by sea of large numbers of undocumented aliens into the southeastern United States. These arrivals have severely strained the law enforcement resources of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and have threatened the welfare and safety of communities in that region.
As a result of our discussions with the Governments of affected foreign countries and with agencies of the Executive Branch of our Government, I have determined that new and effective measures to curtail these unlawful arrivals are necessary. In this regard, I have determined that international cooperation to intercept vessels trafficking in illegal migrants is a necessary and proper means of insuring the effective enforcement of our laws.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the statutes of the United States, including Sections 212(f) and 215(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a)(1)), in order to protect the sovereignty of the United States, and in accordance with cooperative arrangements with certain foreign governments, and having found that the entry of undocumented aliens, arriving at the borders of the United States from the high seas, is detrimental to the interests of the United States, do proclaim that:
The entry of undocumented aliens from the high seas is hereby suspended and shall be prevented by the interdiction of certain vessels carrying such aliens.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:37 a.m., September 30, 1981]