Iraq joins the US Border Guard[/ltr]
[ltr][rtl]Editorial date: 2017/11/24 13:51[/rtl] • [rtl]299 times read[/rtl][/ltr]
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At one of the US Border Guard training centers in the New Mexico desert, Iraqi migrant Stefani Shakari is in hot weather while her trainers shout until she finishes the required distance faster.
Stefani, 23, is one of three women in a group of 20 people undergoing 112 days of intensive training at the US Border Guard Academy in Artesia, running fast, chasing and Spanish.
Members of the group are preparing to track down and hunt down illegal immigrants and drug traffickers trying to cross the US border.
"I'm short and very small," says Stephanie, who trains next to men who grow up in size. "But I try and do my best, that's what matters."
In 2004, Stephanie migrated with her family from Iraq to the United States, at the age of 10, and settled her family in Michigan, where she studied criminal justice at Wayne State University.
Stephanie, who learned English from the Law and Order series, says she might not have had a chance to go to college if she had stayed in Iraq, adding that she is a city of everything for the United States.
President Donald Trump pledged to fight illegal immigration and promote security along the US border, especially with Mexico.
In February, the Homeland Security Department announced plans to add about 5,000 new members to the border guards.
Stephanie is supported by her parents, who will be graduating from the academy in November.
The young Iraqi woman says her family was initially worried about the job because of the risk to border guards, but then realized that this was her daughter's wish.
"My mother tells her friends: That's what my daughter is doing, she's very excited," says Stephanie.