Spencer Eig, Esq.
420 Lincoln Road
Suite 379
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Dear Mr. Eig:

    Re: Elian Gonzalez v. Reno, et. al, No. 11424-D (11th Cir.)
    We have received your letter of this afternoon addressed to the Attorney General responding to our letter of March 24, 2000, as well as your motion to set a briefing schedule for your client’s appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. We appreciate you willingness to move this case forward in an expedited manner. Your letter this afternoon does not, however, constitute the agreement that we proposed. In particular, you have refused to commit to a key element of the government’s proposal of last week, namely, that your client specifically agree to comply with instructions of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) concerning the transfer of Elian if the government prevails on appeal. Far from depriving Lazaro Gonzalez of his right to appeal, we have attempted to accommodate his interest in obtaining review by the Court of Appeals while assuring a prompt and orderly reunification of Elian and his father if the district court’s decision is affirmed.

    Your client’s failure to make this commitment is critical to the government for two reasons. First, the provision of such a commitment upon request is required under Federal law as a condition of Elian’s parole. See CFR 212.5 ( c ). Second, we strongly share your client’s stated desire that his relationship with the government remain a cooperative one, and we emphasize that this is and will continue to be a matter entirely within his control. By giving and abiding by this commitment, your client can ensure that the case is resolved cooperatively and in a manner least disruptive to the child.

    From the beginning of this case we have gone to great lengths to bring a resolution that is reasonably prompt and that is carried out in a cooperative manner with as little disruption for Elian as possible. Since the Commissioner announced her decision on January 5, 2000, that Elian Gonzalez’ father speaks for Elian in immigration matters, the INS has voluntarily withheld implementation of that decision to allow your client to seek further review of that decision, first by the Attorney General and then by the Federal District Court. Nearly twelve weeks have passed since the Commissioner’s decision, and you have never provided us with a simple, clear statement that your client is willing to produce the child when requested to do so by the INS. Without a specific written commitment as described in the Department of Justice’s letter of March 23, 2000, we have no choice but to move forward with the termination of Elian’s parole as of Thursday, March 30, 2000, at 9:00 a.m.

    Accordingly, it remains necessary to meet with District Director Robert Wallis at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning at the INS District Office, 7880 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. As we have previously stated, it will not be necessary to bring Elian to this meeting. We continue to believe that it is advisable to bring Lazaro Gonzalez to this meeting. If you prefer that tomorrow’s meeting take place between lawyers only, and postpone a meeting with Lazaro until Wednesday, we would agree to that. We intend to discuss the ramifications of the parole termination and the orderly return of Elian to his father, including, most importantly, measures to ensure that the transfer occur in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of Elian.

    Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Assistant United States Attorney Dexter Lee at (xxx) xxx-xxx.

Michael A. Pearson
Executive Associate Commissioner
For Field Operations

cc: Opposing co-counsel

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