Elian Gonzalez's Grandmothers Flying From New York to MiamiAired January 24, 2000 - 11:37 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TERRY KEENAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take you now back to Atlanta where Daryn Kagan is standing by with some breaking news on Elian Gonzalez -- Daryn.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Terry and Bill, yes, we do have a development in the case of the 6-year-old boy who has been in Miami since November.
Right now, we take you to Deborah Feyerick who has some news on the plans for the grandmothers who have been visiting from Cuba -- Deb.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Daryn, a spokesperson for the National Council of Churches says that Elian's two grandmothers will be leaving to the airport momentarily. You can see a full crew of people out there just waiting for them to leave the apartment building. They are going to be flying to Miami. They had been awaiting word from the attorney general. They had asked her to help set up a meeting with Elian. According to the spokesperson, both INS and the Justice Department seem to have facilitated this. So while the spokesperson would not confirm that there was an actual meeting, they are very hopeful, and that's why they will be leaving for an unspecified airport in order to fly to Miami.
Now, the grandmothers did make the round of talk shows this morning. They were pleading their case as to why this little boy should be reunited with his father as well as his immediate family. But the relatives in Florida have been fighting to try to get this little boy asylum, so the grandmothers had been concerned that if they did fly to Florida, they may be subpoenaed to testify. Whether that is what the attorney general clarified for them in order to arrange this meeting, well, we did ask that question, but the spokesperson would not confirm or deny, just to say that they are going to be heading to Miami.
Now, as they'll be head to the airport, we know that several lawmakers in Congress will be meeting in order to try to get this little boy U.S. citizenship. And if that happens, well then this becomes a whole new ball game because, right now, the INS has ordered Elian returned to Cuba. If he becomes a citizen, then INS no longer has jurisdiction. So things become a lot more complicated. It is not clear whether the president would veto such a measure.
So the grandmothers, right now, hopeful. We assume that they're inside this apartment on Manhattan's west side, gathering up some of their belongings in order to fly to Miami. They're hopeful that they will see him. And, of course, in the best-case scenario for them, as far as they're concerned, that they may even bring him home to see his father.
Reporting live, Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.
KAGAN: And then, Deborah, the change here would be, up to this point, it didn't look like the grandmothers were even going to see Elian on this visit.
FEYERICK: Absolutely. So this is a pretty big development. And, again, they had wanted the little boy brought to them, the Miami relatives holding firm. They wanted the grandmothers to come down to see him in Miami. But, again, all this legal wrangling, the grandmothers just didn't want to get involved in that. So hopefully we'll have more details as to just how the attorney general intervened.
KAGAN: Deborah Feyerick bringing us the latest from New York as they announce that the grandmothers are heading to Miami, possibly for a reunion with their grandson, Elian Gonzalez.
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