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The New York Times had a story worth reading yesterday on a handful of Iraqi refugees who’ve landed in El Cajon. They’re among the small number of Iraqis who’ve been able to flee violence for the United States.

The story says:

After paying smugglers to get him on flights to Spain, Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico, [Assad] joined the crush of Spanish-speaking migrants on a bus ride to America’s doorstep.

Assad, an Iraqi Christian and the 21-year-old son of a liquor merchant, said his stomach lurched as he tried to convince the American border patrol agents here that he was no ordinary migrant.

“I’m not one of those people,” said Assad, who crossed the border from Mexico last year and was granted asylum, describing how he pleaded for refuge. “I am Iraqi,” said Assad, who asked that only his first name be published because he fears for the safety of his family in Iraq. “I need your help.”

ROB DAVIS

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