Afghanistan Illegal Surfaces Locally, Humane Borders Not Surprised - Tucson News Now

02/17/03

Afghanistan Illegal Surfaces Locally, Humane Borders Not Surprised

By Som Lisaius , News 13

An Afghanistan illegal was taken into custody Tuesday by the US Border Patrol in Tucson. The man says two Mexican nationals smuggled him into the country. He does speak English though he wouldn't tell us his name. Sources tell News 13 when the men got to a southside neighborhood, the Afghan man jumped out of the car as a Tucson Police car drove by. The man told police he was afraid the accused smugglers were going to kill him...because he couldn't pay them for bringing him into this country. "There's a lot of people that are coming that are not Mexican." Dr. Robin Hoover is president of Humane Borders...and pastor of First Christian Church on Speedway. He's the man primarily responsible for the network of water stations along the Arizona border... "To reduce the number of people who are dying out here on a regular basis," he says. Hoover says about a million immigrants try to cross illegally into the United States each year. And while the overwhelming majority are Mexican--about 98 percent he says--there are some exceptions. "There's people from Yemen, the people from Brazil, Saudi Arabia." Or in this case...someone from Afghanistan. "One need not leap automatically to think this is a terrorist from Afghanistan or that there's a war-related incident or terrorist incident going on here," Hoover says. By his own admission, though, Hoover says the possibility exists should Al Queda or Taliban forces take the initiative. "It's relatively easy to get into Mexico using fake documents...or even simply coming from one country of origin to another. Mexico has no reason to believe they're terrorists headed into the United States." Does that raise any red flags in this case? Without more information, Hoover says it's impossible to say.

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