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Elian Update: Miami Relatives Denied Request for Review
By Chris Gordon, Chief Correspondent
Thursday, June 15, 2000; Page 11.1
The Court Order prohibiting Elian Gonzalez from leaving the United States expires June 28th. His Miami relatives must decide before then if they will file an appeal with the Supreme Court and ask for a new injunction keeping him in the U.S. until the matter is finally decided. They were turned down in their attempt to get the full 12 member Court of Appeals to reverse the ruling of the 3 judge panel made on June 1st. It held that Federal law does not address the issue of whether a 6 year old can seek asylum against the wishes of a parent. The INS came up with a policy dealing with the "extraordinary circumstances" of this case.A lower court denied Elian's relatives a hearing on his application for asylum, the 3 judge panel upheld that decision, and now the full Court has affirmed it as well.
The basis for the appeal was that the panel ignored a recent ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court that says a government agency's decision may lack the force of law, and are not entitled to court enforcement in the same manner as policies made after a formal rulemaking process. That ruling was just handed down by the high court in May.
The lawyers made their legal arguments and added an emotional appeal:"The extraordinary importance of this individual case-to the United States...to the Cuban-American community, to the American citizenry more broadly and to the Gonzalez family...justifies rehearing to correct the error."
Now that the full court has declined to grant a hearing on the appeal, it's order keeping Elian in the U.S. lapses within a week.
At the time of the June 1st ruling, Juan Miguel Gonzalez told reporters in Spanish he wants to take his son home to Cuba as soon as possible. "I love him very much. And, really, I want all this to end and, for once and for all, to leave , to go home, along with my son and all my family. And for this unnecessary delay to end."
Juan Miguel was asked to comment on the court's ruling and replied:"It is what I have always felt from the bottom of my heart. A child should simply be with his parent.As his father the right to speak for my son belongs to me."
Ever since the little boy was found alive after the shipwreck that killed his mother and 10 others, his Miami family has been fighting a legal, political and public relations battle to keep him here in the United States. Little Havana,the Cuban enclave in downtown Miami which is heavily anti-Castro, erupted in protests the day before Easter when agents of the Immigration Service in a "show of force" raided the home in the pre-dawn hours to return Elain to his father. Since then, Elian and his family have stayed at Andrews Air Force Base, on Maryland's Eastern Shore and now, in the Cleveland Park section of Washington, D.C.Now the only legal options available to Elian's Miami relatives are to: <
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