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Holding on to hope: The story of an asylum-seeker

One brother safe - another struggles to make the crossing - News 11's Crystal Jimenez has their story.

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Not all of the the thousands of people heading to the border to seek asylum are from Mexico or Central America. Many come from even farther away.

Karel Stephers' brother is one of them. A former captain in the Cuban army, Luis Rafael Stephers Pina, fled his homeland after getting thrown out of the military. Now Karel tells News 11's Crystal Jimenez, his brother fears for his life.

Stephers himself is a political refugee granted asylum from Cuba in 2005. He says he and his brother do not follow their homeland's strict Communist philosophies and ideologies, and that puts them in danger from those in power.

But now Stephers is less fearful about the Cuban government, than about his brother's chances of getting into the U.S. at all. He admits to News 11 his brother did cross the border illegally on two occasions; through Mexicali. Now Luis is in an ICE holding facility in Mississippi, and Karel is waiting to find out what comes next.

Local News / News / Top Stories
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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez began at KYMA as a Digital Content Producer in June 2019, and is now a multimedia journalist.

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