Emotions run high and opinions run irrational when it comes to the custody status of Elian Gonzalez. Many people insist that Elian will live a miserable life in Cuba because little Elian will not have the freedom that America allows its citizens. Yet at the when these voices, including Elians South Florida family, demand freedom for little Elian, they kidnap Elian from the love and parental guidance Elians father, Juan Miguel, provides. The honor and love felt for Elian from his family in South Florida is strong, well meaning and honest but blind. While they forge ahead trying to make Elian an American citizen, they do not see the horrible harm they would cause this child by deny Juan Miguel to have his son.

Not only is Elians South Florida family blind but they are also ignorant of the laws placed there to protect the child they profess they care so much about. It is not only necessary that Elian Gonzalez returns to Cuba before he suffers more emotional and mental scaring, but is essential to the essence of the Immigration and Naturalization Service that Elian is sent back to Cuba. On January 5, 2000, The INS decides that Juan Miguel Gonzalez, Elians father, is the one that will speak for Elian. This means that Elians father will make that decision as to whether he will be returned to Cuba.

(Timeline 9). It is impossible to misunderstand what the INS meant by that decision. INS plainly said that Juan Miguel was the only voice in deciding whether Elian was to leave the U.S. or stay in the U.S. That decision was made two and half months ago and since Juan Miguel stated before and still states that he wants Elian home in Cuba, Elian should have been home in Cuba a long time ago. On March 23, 2000 The INS sends a letter to Kendall Coffey, the attorney for Elians Miami family. In the letter, the INS gave the attorney two choices and set a deadline of tomorrow at 12 p.m. for him to make a decision on how he will proceed with the case If the family lawyers dont take either of those steps, the government is prepared to revoke its initial decision that placed Elian with his Miami relatives. (Timeline 3).

The strength and aggressiveness asserted by the INS is lost when they do not enforce either the deadline or the termination of Elian's stay with the family. The purpose of the INS is to enforce the rules of immigration to ensure order and the well being of the immigrant. The INS clearly stated on January 5th, 2000 that Elian Gonzalez's well being is decided by his father, not the Lazaro Gonzalez family. Furthermore Elian's father asserted that Elians well being was in Cuba and not in America. By the charades of the Lazaro Gonzalez family, Elian's well being is increasingly being jeopardized by keeping him in the United States.

It is also questioning the integrity and authority of the INS by not sending Elian to Cuba. Lazaro Gonzalez, if he truly does care about the well being of Elian, should do what Elsa Gutierrez recommends, "He (Elian) should come back and be a child like every other Cuban child. He should be hunting lizards, carrying marbles and stones in his pockets, studying and living happily. Anything else is demagogy, outrage and child abuse.

(Laughlin 1). Laughlin, Meg. Cuba therapists: Elian needs normalcy. Miami Herald 10 Apr. 2000... MSNBC.

Local Channel Six Miami / Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Elian Gonzalez Timeline. 8 Apr. 2000 web.