Honoring Elian's raiders

| Fri Aug. 11, 2000 3:00 AM EDT

A grateful nation will pay tribute next week to the brave men who rid our shores of one of the great scourges of the new millenium: Elian Gonzalez. No, it's not exhausted TV watcher who will be presenting the awards to the federal agents who snatched the overexposed six-year-old Cuban refugee from the home of his Miami relatives -- it's Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Doris Meissner, reports LATINOLINK.

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"They were people who did an extraordinary job under extraordinary circumstances," said an INS spokesperson of the 130 INS agents who snatched Elian from his Little Havana hideaway in order to reunite him with his father. Some agents will even get extra vacation time -- so long, presumably, as they don't spend it in Cuba.

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