WASHINGTON (AP) -- As support grew for legislation to grant U.S. citizenship to Elian Gonzalez, the 6-year-old boy's grandmothers met with lawmakers today to press for his return to Cuba.
Their first stop was at the offices of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, who said she hoped the House would not take up legislation granting citizenship or permanent residency to Elian. ''What we are doing is politicizing it by taking away the federal jurisdiction,'' Jackson Lee said.
Versions of the citizenship bill were introduced Monday in both the House and the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., told his colleagues they might debate the measure as early as Wednesday. A vote Wednesday is possible, but both sides said they doubt final action will occur until next week at the earliest.
At the White House, spokesman Joe Lockhart declined to say what President Clinton would do if Congress passed the bill -- sign it or veto it -- but said the White House would consider the matter after Congress acts. The president has indicated he does not believe Congress should get involved.
In the House, rival but unbinding legislation was introduced urging that Elian be repatriated with his father in Cuba.
The two grandmothers flew here on Monday night by private jet after their attempt to visit the boy in Miami failed. The boy's maternal grandmother, Raquel Rodriguez, and paternal grandmother, Mariela Quintana, shunned an invitation to have dinner Monday night at the home of Elian's relatives in Miami, who insisted the meeting take place there.
The grandmothers wanted to meet privately with Elian at a neutral site.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.