Attorneys for Elian Gonzalez to Challenge Janet Reno's Decision in Federal CourtAired January 12, 2000 - 1:01 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The international tug-of-war over a six- year-old boy is taking another twist, today. Attorney General Janet Reno has announced a decision in the Elian Gonzalez case, and Florida's Cuban-American community is not at all happy.
CNN's Susan Candiotti joins us from Miami with the story.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Lou.
As many legal experts had suggested, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno has asserted federal authority over a state court, in this case, Florida, in effect saying the Florida court has no jurisdiction in immigration issues. In a letter sent to lawyers representing Elian Gonzalez and the boy's interests, the attorney general states: "Indeed, 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."
Now, while this two-and-a-half-page letter was being sent to lawyers, Elian was back in his private school, his older cousin back at her bank job, his great uncle, we're told, conducting personal business.
Now, lawyers tell CNN they are carefully analyzing Janet Reno's letter. They say that the U.S. government, quote, "should have honored the state court's finding that Elian would suffer irreparable harm to his well-being if returned to Cuba." However, they do consider it a victory that Friday's deadline has now been extended, the deadline for his return to his father in Cuba to accommodate any challenge in federal court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE GARCIA-PEDROSA, GONZALEZ FAMILY ATTORNEY: We're not going to turn over the boy. The boy's under federal subpoena by the Congress, he's under a court order in a state court, which is a valid order, saying that he's not to be removed. If the attorney general wants to challenge that order, she should come here and do so -- that's the legal way -- or she can file her own lawsuit in federal court seeking to overturn that.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CANDIOTTI: A few points here: The attorneys are also saying that Elian does have a right to file a political asylum claim as an unaccompanied minor, here. The attorney general says she stands ready to take up the matter in a U.S. court if that's what these attorneys want to do -- in other words, the ball is in their court -- and the attorneys are saying, OK, we'll see you in court. They fully intend to file a claim for political asylum. One of the attorneys, Roger Bernstein, tells me that they do not intend to do that this day, and he suspects that it may take several more days, perhaps as early as next week, before any such hearing could be scheduled -- Lou.
WATERS: All right, Susan Candiotti in Miami.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S TOPICS AND GUESTS|
CLICK HERE FOR CNN PROGRAM SCHEDULES
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.