Friday, July 01, 2005

Iraqis Trying To Walk Into US Held

Two Iraqi brothers were stopped by Mexican authorities as they tried to cross illegally into the United States near Tecate. The men, ages 27 and 34, were detained by Mexican agents as they walked toward the border in a sparsely populated area west of Tecate, Mexican Attorney General officials told reporters. Also detained were two Mexican smuggling suspects and a Mexican minor. The two Iraqis claimed to be members of the Chaldean Christian minority, Liza Davis of the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana told reporters. Mexican immigration officials have flown the pair to Mexico City for eventual deportation to Iraq. U.S. agents crossed to Mexico to interrogate the two men, who had no criminal records or links to terrorist organizations, Lauren Mack, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego told reporters. The brothers said they were from Baghdad, where they came into contact with a person who helped them obtain travel documents, Mexican authorities told the reporters. They flew to Spain, then Mexico City, before taking a bus to the border. In Tijuana, they were contacted by the smuggling suspects and the 17-year-old, authorities told the reporters. The three Mexicans and two Iraqis were walking toward the metal border fence in a rocky area known as Paso del Aguila when they were intercepted by agents with Mexico's Federal Investigations Agency.