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Douglas border crossing being named for former Gov. Raul Castro

The port of entry in Douglas will be named after Arizona's late Gov. Raúl Castro, if Congress carries through with passing a measure introduced by Rep. Raúl Grijalva. The House unanimously backed the renaming Tuesday, moving a bill co-sponsored by the state's entire congressional delegation.

Castro, the first and thus far only Mexican-American governor of Arizona, died earlier this month.

The measure to designate the Customs and Border Protection facility as the "Raul Hector Castro Port of Entry" must still be passed by the Senate.

Castro, who died April 10, "led a lifetime of service to Arizonans and the American people at large as a judge, an ambassador, and a historical governor of Arizona," Grijalva said in a news release.

"His rise, despite the prejudice and injustices he faced along the way, made him a hero to many in Arizona and across the nation," the Democratic congressman said.

From Grijalva:

Gov. Castro’s story, like so many Americans today, began south of the border. Arriving here as a child in 1926, prevailing sentiments at the time stunted his opportunities to educate himself or find decent work. But with each opportunity denied, his resolve to succeed was hardened. He managed to earn a law degree, and get himself elected the first Mexican-American county attorney and later the first Mexican-American judge on the Pima County Superior Court. He went on to serve as ambassador to three Latin American nations and become the first Latino elected governor of Arizona.

Raúl Hector Castro’s immigrant story is one of the most powerful examples of the American Dream, and it is only fitting that we honor a man who embodied the opportunities our borders offer by naming a port of entry after him in the very region he grew up in.

"Today, the House came together to pay tribute to a tremendous public servant and someone who had an immense impact on the people of Arizona," U.S. Rep. Martha McSally said in a news release.

"Growing up outside of Douglas, Governor Castro overcame countless obstacles to become an example and role model to a generation of young Latinos looking to enter public office," said McSally, who cosponsored the bill along with her colleagues. "I can think of no more fitting tribute than to designate the Douglas Port, a vital asset to our community and symbol of our important trade relationship with Mexico, in honor of Gov. Castro as a way to remember his lasting impact on our state."

Immigrating from Cananea, Son., when he was a child, Castro grew up near Douglas, the son of a miner who died when Castro was just 12 years old.

A series of memorials for Castro has been announced for May, with masses scheduled in Nogales, Tucson and Phoenix.

A memorial mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 272 N. Rodriguez St., Nogales, at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 15.

That afternoon in Tucson, a memorial mass will be held at St. Augustine's Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Ave., at 2 p.m.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary's Basilica, 400 E. Monroe St.,  in Phoenix, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 16.

A 'celebration of life' memorial for Castro will also be held at the Old Capitol Rotunda, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, on Saturday, May 16. Gov.  Doug Ducey, the Castro family, elected officials and other dignitaries will be in attendance. The memorial will begin at 11 a.m.

Castro's ashes will be interred in a private ceremony at the Sedona Community Cemetery in Sedona.

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Raúl Héctor Castro

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