96 Year-Old Former Arizona Governor Detained By Border Patrol

Several weeks ago, but apparently only coming to light now, Former Arizona Governor Raul Hector Castro was detained while trying to return from Mexico to the U.S.:

Former Arizona Gov. Raul Hector Castro, 96, was stopped and detained by the Border Patrol on June 12 after residual radiation from a medical treatment he had the previous day triggered a security system.Castro, who is the only Latino to have served as Arizona governor, was told he had appeared as a nuclear threat.

Anne Doan, who was driving Castro to his 96th birthday celebration in Tucson, said that a Border Patrol agent told Castro, who was wearing a suit, to get out of the car and wait under a tent. The weather that day reached the triple digits.

The agent told Castro a solution he was given for the medical treatment could have triggered the alarm, Doan said.

“I was embarrassed as I watched the governor being needlessly treated like a nuclear threat, especially because they knew he had just had a treatment at Tucson Heart Hospital the day before,” Doan wrote in the Nogales International. “I felt he was being disrespected as a senior citizen, much less the amazing statesman that he is.”

Castro was born in Sonora, Mexico, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1939, according to the National Governors Association. He served with the U.S. Foreign Service in the 1940s, and was a judge of Pima County Superior Court from 1959 to 1964.

He was an ambassador to Bolivia, El Salvador, and Argentina under two presidents.

Actually, Castro served under three Presidents as an Ambassador as he retained his post as Ambassador to Bolivia for a year after Richard Nixon took office. He then served as Governor of Arizona for two years starting in 1975 before being named Ambassador to Argentina by President Carter.

As for the story itself, one wonders what Governor Brewer thinks.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Eric says:

    She wouldn’t have to worry about being detained by border patrol. And she would not even need her papers.

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Interesting article. I read all six cited grafs. Then I read them again. There seemed to be something missing. So I read them again. Still missing. Not there. Unless written in invisible ink. A piece of information that would be germane to the story. Something that any interested reader would want to know.

    Detained for how long? Two hours? Two minutes? Thirty seconds?

    Also, just how misleading is the reference in the first graf to Castro being “told he had appeared as a nuclear threat.” We learn from the third graf that Castro was told that a solution he was given for that medical treatment could have triggered the alarm. In other words, it seems far more likely that once the agent was informed of the facts he said something along the lines of what was referenced in the third graf, not something along the lines of what was referenced in the first graf.

    Agenda journalism is fine by the media. That’s how they roll. It’s expected. There’s no reason, however, for it to be sanctioned on a Internet blog. Otherwise why have blogs?

  3. al-Ameda says:

    These days … Arizona is a very special state.

  4. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I gotta say, ANYONE having the name “Raul Castro” OUGHT to be on the watch list.

  5. Tano says:

    yeah really, Raul Castro shows up at the border giving off radiation and its a surprise that he is detained?

  6. Console says:


    Obviously he had a nuclear bomb implanted in his body after his hospital visit.

  7. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yes, because if Fidel’s brother wanted to sneak into the US, he’d do so using his own name…


  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: That’s, I say, that’s a joke, son.

    /Foghorn Leghorn

  9. Tlaloc says:

    As for the story itself, one wonders what Governor Brewer thinks.

    There’s your problem right there:
    Replace “what” with “if”.

  10. “She wouldn’t have to worry about being detained by border patrol. “

    She will only have to worry about that if she visits Peru or Egypt. Someone may think that some of the mummies has escaped from some museum.

  11. Mr. Prosser says:

    @André Kenji de Sousa: Aw, man, you beat me to it!

  12. al-Ameda says:

    Arizona is … the most interesting State in the Union.
    Stay thirsty my friends.

  13. An Interested Party says:

    I gotta say, ANYONE having the name “Raul Castro” OUGHT to be on the watch list.

    Oh absolutely! I mean, it’s not like this guy has a nice patriotic name , like “Jay Tea”…

  14. jd says:

    He had to go to Mexico for his heath care! Hello!

  15. Franklin says:

    Geez, lighten up all you Francis’s. Jenos’ comment was pretty funny, even before he had to tell you it was a joke.

    I have no real problem with border agents using Geiger counters or whatever. I *am* a bit surprised that there’s not a clear level or signature that differentiates medical treatments from dangerous bombs, but I haven’t really looked into it …

  16. Franklin says:

    @jd: Tuscon is now in Mexico?

  17. jd says:

    @Franklin: Did I misread it? He was stopped at the border driving from Mexico to Tucson.