In November 1999, Elian Gonzalez’s mother died trying to get her son from Cuba to the United States in an attempt at a better life. Picked up adrift at sea by U.S. citizens, he was handed over to relatives in Miami—but his father demanded they send him back to Cuba, as his son was taken from him against his will. There was heated controversy over immigration and what was in the boy’s best interest. Elian’s U.S. relatives attempted to keep him in the U.S. by petitioning for asylum, and his Cuban grandmothers visited Congress in hopes of taking him back to Havana. Eventually, a federal district court ruled he had to be returned to his father in Cuba, and the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal. Elian was sent home in June 2000.