Iraqi Christians denied asylum in US, facing looming expulsion

The Chaldeans being held at Otay have numerous supporters in El Cajon and throughout San Diego County. (Courtesy: East County Magazine/Miriam Raftery)
By Hollie McKay

Nearly two dozen Iraqi Christians who fled ISIS and crossed into the U.S. from Mexico seeking religious asylum have been denied protection and could be booted from American soil within days, a federal official said.

Some 27 Iraqi Christians, known as Chaldeans, were held at the Otay Detention Center in San Diego since entering the U.S. in April and May. Seven have already been extradited, and five more criminally charged with making false statements. In all, 22 have been ordered out of the U.S. and five still have asylum applications pending, according to Lauren Mack, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in San Diego.

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