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CNN Today

Government Prepared to Order Transfer of Elian Gonzalez

Aired April 12, 2000 - 2:30 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: There are developments today in the Elian Gonzalez story, including the fact that he might be back with his father as early as tomorrow.

Susan Candiotti is keeping track of things down in Little Havana at the house, the temporary home where Elian is not today -- Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Lou. That's because right now he is with his Florida relatives here over at the home of Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin over in Miami Beach. However, in the meantime, the government apparently feeling it has given the Florida relatives of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez enough time to work out an agreement among themselves. It's now apparently prepared to move forward and make good on its threat to remove the boy's temporary care given to his great uncle Lazaro Gonzalez to his father.

Now, the U.S. Justice Department and Immigration are both prepared to send a letter this afternoon ordering the boy's surrender. The letter, which has not yet officially been signed, demands that Elian Gonzalez be brought to Opalaka Airport, which is just north of Miami, tomorrow morning.

Now, we understand that the boy would then be transported aboard a government aircraft from Florida. The precise destination unknown. We also understand, according to sources, that under consideration is the involvement of another of the boy's great uncles, Manolo Gonzalez, who lives nearby here who might accompany the boy. He has always favored returning Elian to his father.

Now just because Lazaro Gonzalez receives this letter does not necessarily mean that he will indeed surrender the boy to Opalaka Airport. The family has the option, according to its attorneys, of filing for an immediate injunction to try to quash this letter and its effects by going to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

And for its part, the government can move to a federal court here in Miami to ask for a court order to compel the family to comply.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, reporting live in Miami.

WATERS: All right, Susan, thanks.

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