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Thursday, June 02, 2005


MAGIC CARPET RIDE: ARIZONA MAN ACCUSED OF SMUGGLING 60 IRANIANS FROM MEXICO 

Zeayadali Malhamdary asked a source to obtain phony Mexican visas that could be placed into Iranian passports.

Many people alarmed by our country's porous borders have been fretting over the prospect that dangerous elements may be slipping into the United States, undetected. Others have argued that illegal aliens are harmless Mexicans looking to work hard and pay American taxes. Hmmmm, maybe it's somewhere in between.

An article in The Arizona Republic should make one pause when the revelation is that some people being smuggled across the Arizona border are from IRAN. Of course, this development does not portend a harbinger of benign visitors if some of our nation's sworn enemies are able to make good use of flights from Tehran, phony Mexican visas in hand...

Robert Anglen
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 1, 2005 12:00 AM

Federal authorities are investigating a Mesa tailor charged with trying to smuggle Iranians across the Mexican border into Arizona.

Zeayadali Malhamdary, 39, an Iranian with permanent resident status in the United States, is accused of trying to buy phony Mexican visas so that three Iranians could fly into Mexico before being smuggled across the border. He was indicted Tuesday.

The case is unusual because it provides insight into some of the methods that foreigners use to gain illegal entry into the United States.

The U.S. Border Patrol does not provide statistical breakdowns of undocumented immigrants it apprehends from countries other than Mexico. But Mexicans make up the vast majority, 92 percent in fiscal 2003, according to the 2003 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics published by the Department of Homeland Security.

"This is indicative of the FBI's ongoing effort to identify vulnerabilities to our nation's security, which includes the use of false documents to unlawfully enter our country," Jana D. Monroe, special agent in charge of the Phoenix FBI, said in a statement Tuesday.

Malhamdary, owner of Palez Tailoring on Baseline Road, bragged to an undercover FBI agent that he had smuggled as many as 60 Iranians into the United States using fake Mexican visas, according to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Arizona.

After his arrest, Malhamdary said that "he wanted the visas so he could bring people from Iran to Mexico so that they could come to the United States and pursue refugee status," the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Malhamdary asked a source to obtain Mexican visas that could be placed into Iranian passports. The source contacted federal authorities and reported that Malhamdary told him that he had recently smuggled a group of 20 Iranians into the United States near Sonoita.

An undercover FBI agent met Malhamdary and arranged to provide him with the visas, the complaint states. Federal authorities said that Malhamdary flew to Tehran in March and returned with passports of Iranians wishing to come to the United States.

During meetings and in recorded phone calls with the undercover agent from the FBI, Malhamdary said there were eight more Iranians interested in being smuggled into the United States using the fake visas, the complaint states.


It's disturbing indeed to know that our southern border is so lightly regarded that people can fly from 4,000 miles away with the confidence that they'll be able to waltz into America in such a brazen fashion.

Arizona Republic: Mesa man accused of smuggling Iranians

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Update: Michelle Malkin says maybe some desire to live the All-American "moisturizer" lifestyle

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