It took a day, but The Miami Herald admits that the latest U.S./Cuba custody battle involving a 4-year-old girl doesn’t exactly parallel the Elian saga 7 years ago. I guess that’s how you sell papers.
From the story:
• The 4-year-old girl’s case is essentially a custody dispute playing out in a Miami juvenile court, where a state judge will decide whether her father is fit to take custody. Both mother and daughter entered the country legally two years ago.
Elián’s case, a federal court matter, was fundamentally about whether he had the right to apply to the U.S. government for asylum after the five-year-old’s mother died while they crossed the Florida Straits in November 1999.
U.S. immigration authorities temporarily allowed Elián, rescued at sea, into the country for medical treatment.
• The 4-year-old girl’s case landed in court after the state Department of Children & Families found the psychologically troubled mother was unfit because of her abusive behavior toward the daughter. She was placed with a Cuban American family in Coral Gables — a family that state child welfare administrators say is more fit than the girl’s Cuban father to raise her.
Elián ended up in court when his Miami relatives, who represented him, sought an asylum hearing, citing the oppressive government of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. That triggered a confrontation with top federal officials, who found Elián did not have the right to seek asylum and that his Cuban father spoke for him. The father wanted his son returned to Cuba.
• The 4-year-old girl was placed with a Cuban American family in Coral Gables — a family state child welfare administrators say is more fit than the girl’s Cuban father to raise her. Three sources with knowledge of the case say state child-welfare workers have asked Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen — who issued a gag order to all the parties — to grant that same family long-term custody of the girl. The girl’s father in Cuba wants custody.
Read the entire article here.