Former Arizona Governor Held at Border Checkpoint

AP Photo

Raul Castro, a 96-year-old former Arizona governor and U.S. diplomat, was held at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in stifling heat after his pacemaker set off a radiation sensor. 

Castro, who was the first Hispanic governor of Arizona, says he wasn't mistreated, but that agents could have been more sensitive to his condition. Castro has said he was held for 40 to 45 minutes in 100-degree heat; the federal agency said it lasted 10 minutes.

“I feel they’ve got a job to do and I don’t condemn them for doing a job,” he told msnbc.com, “but once I was identified and I was 96 years of age and told them I had medical treatment the day before, I expected a little more.”

The driver, Castro's friend Anne Doan, wrote in an editorial for Nogales International that the treatment was "appalling" and "humiliating" for an elderly man. Despite Doan's remarks on Castro's health, he was still made to wait outside without air-conditioning. 

While the governor says he doesn't think being Hispanic had "anything to do with it," he admitted to Salon.com that he has been stopped by Border Patrol twice before while living in Arizona. Once, while working on his farm as a judge, and then again walking home with his daughter.

“I once had a home in San Diego,” Castro told Salon.com. “One day my daughter and I returned [home to Arizona] and were stopped by Border Patrol. ‘Hey, where were you born? I wasn’t about to lie. I was born in Mexico, I said. The guard starts questioning me. ‘What about that young lady?’ She was born in Japan, I said, during the Korean War. He thought we were being smart. He didn’t want to let us go.  In the meantime, someone came by and recognized me. Governor, how are you?"

He called the treatment "poor judgment." 

What do you think? Is this treatment appalling or would anything less be considered "special treatment"? Share in the comments

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