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Breaking News

Gonzalez Subpoena Delayed

Aired January 7, 2000 - 3:45 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, Dan Burton, has just announced he will not issue a subpoena for the six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at this time, because -- as he pointed out in a statement that was just released to CNN -- there is action going on in a state court in Florida to try and block the Immigration and Naturalization Service, INS, in its efforts to remove him and send him back to his father in Cuba.

Burton had been approached by members of Congress asking him to put out a subpoena in the hope that that would stall the action. But Burton, after consulting with lawyers, has just said, "I have decided to withhold issuing a subpoena at this time to allow the court to consider the motion before it." He goes on to say, "However, I will reserve the right to issue a subpoena at a future point if it becomes necessary."

Now, all of this was a very, very open stalling action on the part of some of Burton's fellow Republicans in an effort to try and keep things as they are until Congress came back about two and a half weeks from now, where several Florida Republican, led by Connie Mack, the senator from that state, were going to put together legislation that would give citizenship or permanent resident status to the child.

However, other lawyers are saying that even that might not prevent the removal of the child back to Cuba and his father. At the moment, Congressman Burton says he is not going to act, he's been consulting with his lawyers, and many were saying that there was really very little he could do at this point.

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