The wife and a friend of former Arizona Gov. Raul Castro are calling for changes in Border Patrol procedures after agents recently detained the frail 96-year-old in 100-degree heat for more than a half-hour.Castro said he was traveling from his home in Nogales, Ariz., to celebrate his 96th birthday in Tucson when his vehicle triggered a radiation sensor at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 19 north of Tubac.
Castro said agents sent him to another inspection area and continued to question him outside his vehicle for 40 to 45 minutes even though he explained that he had undergone hospital testing on his pacemaker the previous day, likely triggering the sensor.
Castro has downplayed the June 12 incident, which occurred just before noon. His wife and driver, however, were appalled.”Its traumatic, to say the least, for an old man,” said Castros wife, Patricia.
Governor Castro, Arizona’s only Hispanic governor, served from 1974-1977 and also served as a US ambassador. Border patrol officials insist they were only following procedure, which requires them to verify any source of radiation and do not permit them to allow an old man with a frail heart sit in an air-conditioned car in 100+-degree heat. They deny that the stop lasted as long as Castro’s wife claims, saying it only took about 10 minutes. It probably took 10 minutes for a 96-year-old man just to walk to the detainment tent and another 10 to walk back to his vehicle.