By Corinne Murdock |
More illegal immigrants from Uzbekistan were discovered crossing the Yuma, Arizona border.
Townhall reporter Julio Rosas discovered this less-common variant of illegal immigrant while visiting the Yuma border on Thursday.
“This family that just crossed the Colorado River told me they’re from Uzbekistan, that’s a first one for me,” wrote Rosas. “Three adult males who illegally crossed into the US here in Yuma showed me their Uzbekistan passports. They turned themselves in to the BP [border patrol] agent who was by the gap in the border wall.”
This family that just crossed the Colorado River told me they’re from Uzbekistan, that’s a first one for me. pic.twitter.com/YPzfQdcP87
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) October 7, 2021
A small portion of Uzbekistan is bordered by Afghanistan in the south, while a majority of the country is bordered by Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. A majority of the population are Uzbek, nearly all of whom are Sunni Muslim. The Taliban are also considered Sunni Muslim.
Reportedly, the Uzbek government has kept up strict border policies with Afghanistan historically. The Taliban’s advances leading to the takeover in August caused Uzbekistan and neighboring countries to increase their border security greatly.
It is unclear why there would be an influx of Uzbek illegal immigrants. Uzbekistan is one of the more prosperous and safe countries in Central Asia. From November to early spring of this year, protests broke out across the country as it faced power supply shortages aggravated by intense winter storms. However, these protests didn’t reach the severity of the 2005 Andijan Massacre, in which hundreds were shot to death during a protest to release 23 businessmen imprisoned over accusations of Islamic extremism.
Uzbek illegal immigrants aren’t an entirely new development for the border crisis. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported in January an uptick in Uzbek illegal immigrants. CBP officials explained that those caught earlier this year were escaping persecution for homosexuality. Uzbeks that engage in homosexual relations can face up to three years in prison.
Under the Taliban, punishment for homosexuality includes being stoned to death, crushed under a wall, or thrown off a tall building.
Arizona’s Refugee Resettlement Program doesn’t have any data on Uzbek resettlement since 2015.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.