Magazine article The Christian Century

Elian Gonzalez's Case in Flux

Magazine article The Christian Century

Elian Gonzalez's Case in Flux

Article excerpt

The evolving ease of Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy whose Florida relatives want him to remain in the U.S., appears for the moment to be suspended between state and federal authorities. Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Rosa Rodriguez on January 10 granted emergency custody to Elian's great-uncle, Lazaro Gonzalez, and said Elian should remain with his U.S. relatives until a March 6 court date. Attorney General Janet Reno, however, said on January 12 that authority over the boy's ease resides in the federal courts. She also reaffirmed her belief that the law requires that Elian be returned to his father in Cuba.

According to Reno, the Florida court ruling "has no force of effect" on the Immigration and Naturalization Department's January 6 decision to return the boy to Juan Miguel Gonzalez, his father. In a letter to those who are acting as Elian Gonzalez's attorneys in the U.S. Reno wrote, "The question of who may speak for a six-year-old child in applying for admission or asylum is a matter of federal immigration law."

In response to Rodriguez's decision, the INS had announced January 11 that it would not force the child's immediate return to Cuba. "We have no plans to take charge of him, and we have no plans to forcibly remove him from the home," said spokesman Mike Gilhooly. …

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