Thursday, January 01, 2004

That's comforting

Mexican Diplomat Charged With Helping Smuggle Arabs Into U.S.
The real life horror story that began eighteen months ago when an Arab illegal alien named Youseff Balaghi showed up at a San Diego hospital, dying from what the Border Patrol initially—and erroneously—feared was radiation sickness, has now reached high into Mexico's foreign service.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Imelda Ortiz Abdala was Mexico's consul in Lebanon. On Nov. 12, 2003, Mexican authorities arrested her, according to the Associated Press, "on charges of helping a smuggling ring move Arab migrants into the United States from Mexico." The AP said Mexico had also arrested "alleged ring leader Salim Boughader Mucharafille." Boughader earlier pleaded guilty in the U.S. to the smuggling incident that resulted in Balaghi's death.

Unfortunately, this story is not over.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Skerlos prosecuted Boughader. This week, citing Ortiz's arrest, I asked him if there were other rings still bringing Middle Easterners in from Mexico.

"Yes," he said.
The details aren't crystal clear, but ole Imelda was stealing Mexican passports. One can't help but wonder why the Arab illegals didn't just sneak across the Mexican border like everybody else.