Iraqis get 6-month prison terms for illegal entry
Texas - Three Iraqi men who say they are persecuted Christians and are seeking asylum were sentenced Friday to the maximum six months in prison after being caught sneaking into Texas.
Border Patrol agents arrested Ammar Habib Zaya, Aamr Bahnan Boles and Remon Manssor Piuz on April 29 near the Los Indios international bridge near Harlingen, federal court records show.
The men, ranging in age from 20 to 25, pleaded guilty Monday to illegal entry, crossing the border from Mexico.
Defense attorney Humberto Yzaguirre has said the men were interviewed by federal officials and are not suspected of terrorism.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio questioned why the men did not go to an American consulate or any international bridge to try to seek asylum before illegally entering the country.
The prison terms will give them time to apply for asylum, Recio said.