Latest on Elian
masinter at NOVA.EDU
Fri Apr 12 14:16:43 PDT 2002
I have been following the story closely as it unfolds in a hearing on a
claim brought by an INS employee that he should have been granted a
transfer from Miami.
Document destruction is stupid, but standing alone, it is clearly not
obstruction of justice. David Duncan pleaded guilty to destroying
documents to obstruct the investigation of a crime; that is also the
basis for the obstruction indictment of AA.
Lying about whether you ordered the destruction of documents can be
perjury, and even when it is not, it is wrong. I do not know whether Ms.
Meissner lied by asserting that she had no memory of ordering the
destruction, though some of us can remember other government officials who
have been convicted on the basis of false denials of no recollection.
The more interesting part of the story, not mentioned below, is the claim
that the expressed desire of some, or even many INS employees in Miami to
return Elian to Cuba was a forbidden form of unlawful harassment of Cuban
American employees of INS. Our moderator has written extensively about
the metastasis of harassment law; this is one more example. If one's view
of a political controversy is harassment on the basis of national origin,
we must all stop talking.
Michael R. Masinter 3305 College Avenue
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33314
Shepard Broad Law Center (954) 262-6151
masinter at nova.edu Chair, ACLU of Florida Legal Panel
On Fri, 12 Apr 2002, John C. Eastman wrote:
> The Associated Press is reporting the following:
> MIAMI (AP) - An Immigration and Naturalization Service attorney's e-mail
> memo could have bolstered Elian Gonzalez's request for asylum during his
> stay in Miami, but the then-head of the INS ordered it destroyed, a
> watchdog group says.
> Doris Meissner, who was INS chief at the time, said on Wednesday that
> she didn't recall ordering that a specific document be destroyed. But
> she described a standing policy that no notes be taken or memos
> disseminated about the Cuban boy's case because of the sensitivity of
> the issue.
> A copy of the memo survived and was made public Wednesday by the
> conservative legal group, Judicial Watch. It discussed the possibility
> that the Cuban boy's father at one time sought a visa to move to the
> United States.
> It also discussed allegations that the Cuban government had been
> coercing the father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez. If coercion could be shown,
> the roughly drafted e-mail memo said, INS could "potentially accept the
> child's asylum's application and advise that there is no prohibition on
> age to child filing application. As such PA should proceed."
> Any thoughts? In light of the indictment against Arthur Anderson? or
> GAO v. Cheney?
> John Eastman
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