McALLEN, Texas – A Syrian woman seeking asylum has been accused of using a fake passport to enter the U.S. through the Texas border. Her American citizen brother-in-law has also been charged in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested 27-year-old Walaa Alrehawi and her brother-in-law 46-year-old Mohammad Ziad Alzalam last week in the border city of Hidalgo.
On Monday, the two went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos, who read them their rights and ordered they be held without bond pending a detention hearing later this week.
Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed that Ziad travelled to Beirut, Lebanon, to pick up Alrehawi who has been identified as his sister-in-law. She allegedly used the passport belonging to Ziad’s wife to fly to Frankfurt, Germany. From there, the two flew to the Mexican resort town of Cancun. The duo eventually made their way to the Mexican city of Reynosa and subsequently tried to enter the United States through Hidalgo.
At the international bridge, Alrehawi arrived identifying herself as a Syrian citizen and requested asylum. Ziad, who is a U.S. citizen, arrived separately trying to enter the country with his American passport. CBP officers pulled the two into a secondary inspection area where they determined that Alrehawi was Ziad’s sister-in-law and that Alrehawi had used a U.S. passport to illegally travel from Lebanon to Europe, and then on to Mexico. The officers charged the two with misuse of a passport.
As reported by Breitbart News, the ongoing violence in Syria has resulted in thousands of people fleeing the Middle Eastern country in an effort to get to Europe. The growing number of Syrian refugees has resulted in various riots as European authorities work to restore the peace, as well as help those in need.
Breitbart Texas’ Managing Director Brandon Darby recently reported on Mexico opening the door to Syrian refugees. This brings about the real concern of individuals tied to ISIS being able to exploit Mexico’s limited enforcement of immigration laws in order to use that country as a springboard into the U.S.