Politics or family? Robert Sheridan bobsheridan email@example.com
The current status is that Elian is still in Miami living with extended family, going to school, and receiving more attention and gifts than any little kid should, all designed to make him never want to go back.
A Florida family court judge, dependent on the Miami electorate (heavily Cuban in voting power) ruled that Elian stays here pending I dunno what.
Janet "Send in the Tanks" Reno and the Immigration & Naturalization Service came down on the side of sending Elian back. Said the Florida court had no jurisdiction over an immigration matter.
The case was assigned to aged US District Court judge William Hoeveler, a no-nonsense guy if ever there was one. He presided over the Noriega of Panama trial. But Hoeveler had a stroke the day before the hearing, so more delay has set in.
This is a custody battle with huge political implications, so the kid has become the pawn of all time in a game where the kids are often the pawns.
Just makes you wanna scratch your head. When the President of the U.S., who is on record as wanting the kid to go back, along with the A-G and the INS, can't make it happen, it highlights the sort of frustrations ordinary parents go through in trying to sort out their lives with their kids after a divorce. Ain't pretty.
One of the grandmothers came over to visit and apparently subverted the meeting by introducing a cell-phone for Elian to speak to his dad. That was thwarted. One of them also unzipped his fly and inspected his penis to ask him about how he was doin' in that department, according to reports disseminated all over, and finally, the nun who oversaw the highly publicized visit says that one of the grandmothers said she wants to defect, so now the nun favors keeping Elian here.
If it looks like a hockey-game, these are some of the reasons why.
To the person who wondered why illegal immigrants aren't just sent home, it ain't that simple. It's like this. This is heaven, and the rest of the world is hell. The INS is St. Peter and there are rules. Statutes, regulations, operating instructions of the INS, and politics.
Haiti, for example, falls under the non-Communist country rules, so Haitians ain't allowed in no-how. They're coming for economic opportunity and the rules are designed to keep people coming here for that out, unless they fall into the allowable quota, which is so oversubscribed that no Haitian will be legally allowed to immigrate for years. Ditto other overcrowded, poverty stricken places like India, Pakistan, China, Philippines, etc. That's why you see stories of Chinese smuggled into the US in packing crates lashed to the decks of ships, who've paid $30k per head to starve during the voyage.
Cuba, being communist, is different. We have different rules for communist countries. People escaping communist countries for freedom fall under the Cold War immigration rules designed to encourage and support freedom loving natives of communist lands who have purified themselves of any taint of communism themselves by virtue of leaving, hopefully with the latest version of a MIG-22.
For them, all they have to do is say here I am, I want out, and they're in. They get political asylum. Used to be two people a year got P/A. Nowadays the applications are in the multi-thousands. We get people in Iran opposed to the komitehs and people from China opposed to the one-child policy.
So when you wonder why Elian doesn't get automatically sent back, the answer is he falls under the Cold War rules that say for people fleeing communism, he's in like Flynn. But this policy gives us headaches because the Cubans try to take advantage of it wholesale. Castro opened his prisons and mental institutions and sent us thousands of brigands during the Mariel Boatlift. We had to deal with him to get him to cut it out.
So the rule is normally that if our Coast Guard can catch incoming Cubans while still at sea, back they go. But if they touch the beach, they stay. We have thousands of Cubans in detention at the Krome Avenue detention center waiting to see what's going to happen, as they keep washing up and we're in no hurry to sort things out, to avoid increasing the magnetic power of the U.S. to Cubans.
Since southern Florida is so heavily Cuban (the mayor of Miami is Cuban) not even the president can make anything happen that they don't want, otherwise he loses Florida at election time and in Congress, should he want to see any legislation passed that affects them.
All of which is a very good reason to try to iron out the differences we have with Castro. We probably should never have tried to assassinate him with exploding cigars, but whaddo I know, coming from FawCawnahs, 'n' all? I bet he's really p*ssed.
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