Honoring Elian’s raiders

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.

“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.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

  • Vince Beiser, a former Mother Jones senior editor, has reported from more than 30 countries—on troop training in Iraq, natural disasters in Haiti, and prison conditions in California.