Judge Denies Reduced Sentence for Asylum Seekers

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A federal judge has denied a request to reconsider jail sentences given three Iraqi men who entered Texas to seek asylum as persecuted Christians.

Brownsville federal Magistrate Felix Recio asserted Tuesday that the six-month sentences he assessed in early May are appropriate. They're the maximum allowed for misdemeanor illegal entry.

Their defense attorney had asked the judge to reconsider the sentences because the men had no criminal history and posed no
threat to national security.

US Border Patrol agents detained Ammar Habib Zaya, Aamr Bahnan Boles and Remon Manssor Piuz in April near the Los Indios international bridge near Harlingen.

The men, who range in age from 20 to 25, asked for asylum, saying they were persecuted as members of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church.