In 2000, two of the U.S. legal system's messiest issues conjoined, leaving a 7-year-old Cuban boy in the middle of a custody battle and an immigration hearing that involved two governments and several family members. Elián González first arrived in the U.S. in 1999 on a small boat a crossing that killed his mother. Once he was rescued he was released to his great-uncle, who lived in Miami. His father and the rest of his family in Cuba were soon engaged in a heated custody fight against his Miami relatives. In a fight that involved the U.S. Attorney General, the Spanish Foreign Minister and countless other lawmakers, the young boy became a symbol of a divisive immigration issue. He eventually returned to his father in Cuba.