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Elain Gonzalez - An Insult to Fathers Everywhere

Was it Easter weekend or Palm Sunday five year ago, when a young boy began the road back to his father? After the move-away mom put this child in a life-threatening situation (she died in the attempt), the boy’s extended family claimed more rights than the father.  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/elian/ . Oh, what sick days those were.

This letter ran in the January 20, 2000 issue of the San Antonio Express-News:

On Nov. 15, an Express-News front-page headline was "Mexico haven for abductors." It is deplorable Mexico doesn't often honor the right of the child to have access to both parents.

Although I condemn the government in Mexico for honoring only 3 percent of U.S. requests to return children to their parents here, I still love and respect the Mexican people and their country.

As Mary Ryan, the State Department's assistant secretary for consular affairs, told Congress, "When a parent abducts, or wrongfully retains, a child from his or her home and prevents the child from having a relationship with the other parent, the trauma to the child is immediate and compounded each day the child is not brought home."

- Don Mathis

The US and other countries continue to fail to give importance to men in the lives of their children.  This should change.

Don, the 14%er

April 22, 2000, 12:40pm EDT

Remarks to the press by President Clinton in the Rose Garden after the government operation to remove Elian Gonzalez.

NewsHour Links

Online Special: Elian Gonzalez

April 22, 2000
Elian Gonzalez is removed from Miami and reunited with his father.

January 13, 2000
Neither side in the tug of war over Elian Gonzalez budges

January 5, 2000
The tug of war over Elian Gonzalez escalates

December 8, 1999
A look at the tug of war over Elian Gonzalez





THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. As all of you know, this morning six-year-old Elian Gonzalez was reunited with his father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez. The Department of Justice, under the leadership of Attorney General Reno, went to great lengths to negotiate a voluntary transfer. Even yesterday, the Attorney General worked very hard on this late into the night, showing great restraint, patience, and compassion.

When all efforts failed, there was no alternative but to enforce the decision of the INS and a federal court that Juan Miguel Gonzalez should have custody of his son. The law has been upheld, and that was the right thing to do. I am well aware that this has been a difficult time for all the parties involved. But let's remember, as I said from the outset, the most important thing was to treat this in a lawful manner according to the established process. This was, in the end, about a little boy who lost his mother and has not seen his father in more than five months. I hope, with time and support, Elian and his father will have the opportunity to be a strong family again. Thank you very much.

Q Mr. President, what was your role, and did you give the go-ahead for the operation?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I talked to the Attorney General extensively, especially in the last several days, and I supported the decisions that were made. I think -- we talked last evening last, and then I talked to Mr. Podesta two or three times through the night, and I believe that it was the right thing to do. She made the decision, she managed this, but I fully support what she did. And it was clear to me from our long conversations that we were in agreement about this.

She had a special feeling because she was from Miami, she wanted to resolve this in the most patient way possible to minimize the damage to the people and the community that she loves so much. But she felt strongly, and I felt strongly, that the law had to be upheld and that Elian had to be reunited with his father. And every conceivable alternative was tried for quite a long time. So I think she did the right thing and I'm very pleased with the way she handled it.