House Committee Won't Subpoena Elian Gonzalez
July 7, 2008 - 7:25 PM
(CNSNews.com) - House Government Reform and Operations Committee Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) said on Friday that 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez will not be subpoenaed to testify before the committee for the time being.
Burton said he has received word that attorneys for the family of Elian Gonzalez have filed a motion in a Florida state court in response to the decision by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) that would allow Elian to return to Cuba to be with his father.
"I have consulted with (Florida) Governor Jeb Bush about this matter as well as several interested members of Congress. I have decided to withhold issuing a subpoena at this time to allow the court to consider the motion before it. However, I will reserve the right to issue a Committee subpoena at a future point if it becomes necessary, " Burton said.
Burton also said his primary concern is for "the welfare of Elian Gonzalez."
"He (Elian) should receive the full benefit of due process of law in this country. I do not believe that any precipitous action (by the INS) should be taken to return him to Cuba unless and until his lawyers have had the opportunity to exercise all of his legal rights," Burton said.
Burton, along with Florida Congressmen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart wrote to the Justice Department earlier this week about the Elian Gonzalez matter.
"We asked them not to make any decisions in this case until the boy's father and immediate family could come to the US to consult with government officials. This is the only way to make sure that there is no coercion from the Castro regime. I'm very disappointed that the Clinton Administration rushed into their decision without doing this. This child should not become a political football, " Burton said.
The Justice Department had no comment on the letter Friday when contacted by CNSNews.com.