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Special Event

INS Spokeswoman Announces Resumption of Talks with Elian Gonzalez's Miami Relatives

Aired April 6, 2000 - 10:13 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: For more of the Justice Department's role we go to our Mark Potter who is outside the U.S. attorneys office in Miami, this is the site where the talks have been taking place between the relatives of Elian Gonzalez on both sides of this controversy.

Mark, good morning.

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.

About 25 minutes ago we saw team of attorneys representing Elian and his family come in here to the courthouse where the U.S. attorneys office is located. The presumption is that the negotiations would continue. Attorneys said that they were planning to continue their talks with the government officials.

Now, a little bit of news maybe made here in just a moment: we're standing by, we've just been told that somebody from the government, within moments, is expected to come out to talk with us. So if that happens in the middle of my talk, I will certainly be quiet and move over and we'll hear what the person from the government has to say.

In the past, the person speaking has been Robert Wallace from the INS, the Regional Director from the INS.

And I am told right now, that somebody is walking out, this is the spokeswoman for the INS and I think what we should do is just shift over and see here what she has to say right now.

KAREN KRAUSHAAR, INS SPOKESWOMAN: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

All I'm doing this morning is just informing you on who is in the discussions at this time. Discussions are going on between INS and Department of Justice attorneys and attorneys for the Lazaro Gonzalez family.

In the room are: for the government, Robert A. Wallace, district director for the INS Miami District; Dan Varro, who is district counsel and chief legal officer for the INS in Miami; David J. Klein, who is deputy director for the Office of Immigration Litigation in Washington, D.C.; and Dexter A. Lee, who is assistant U.S. attorney, the deputy chief for the Civil Division. Dexter Lee. Yes. For the Lazaro Gonzalez family, the attorneys are: Manny Diaz, Spencer Eig, Linda Osburg-Braun, Roger Bernstein and Jose Garcia Pedrozo.

POTTER: All right, a little bit of a review of who is in the room, and the confirmation of what we had been saying that negotiations, once again, are under way.

This is the fifth day now of talks between government officials and attorneys for Elian Gonzalez and his relatives here in Miami.

Now that the father is in the United States, the tone of the talks, we are told by a source, has changed dramatically. The government is now in a position with the father here, of saying categorically to this family: It is not a matter of if, it is simply a matter of when this transfer occurs.

They want the father and son reunited as quickly as possible, as the deputy U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder, said a short while ago: This is not only a matter of U.S. law and international law, it is also just the right thing to do.

The family will be asked by the government for its voluntary compliance. They want the family to work with the government to affect a smooth transfer. The government will, we are told, work out -- try to work out the details with the family, but the one thing that is not negotiable is the question of whether this occurs. The Justice Department has determined father and son should come together. And now they are talking about how to make that happen.

This is Mark Potter, CNN, reporting live from Miami.

KAGAN: Mark, thank you very much.

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