'Underground railroad' assists Iraqi refugees in San Diego

AP News
Posted: Aug 22, 2015 7:07 PM
'Underground railroad' assists Iraqi refugees in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Southern California nonprofit is running an "underground railroad" to assist Chaldean Catholics fleeing the turmoil in Iraq.

Thirty-two year old Mark Arabo tells The San Diego Union-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1hRZj99 ) that he founded the Minority Humanitarian Foundation out of impatience with Washington's inability to deal with the crisis created by Islamic State militants.

He tells the newspaper the group runs an "underground railroad" that transports Iraqi refugees into San Diego. He says the group also seeks to help other persecuted religious minorities.

The newspaper said 27 Chaldeans are in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. To date, 15 have been ordered deported and five face criminal charges for entering the U.S. under false pretenses.

About 60,000 Chaldeans live in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon.