Thirty-Nine Migrants Die in Fire At Mexican Detention Center as Border Crisis Worsens
Should the U.S. deny asylum to anyone "circumventing" legal pathways? COMMENT NOW on Biden's proposed rule
Updated March 28, 2023
- Migrants afraid of deportation set mattresses on fire at an immigration center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, starting a blaze that left 39 dead and 29 injured.
- More than 30 migrant shelters and advocacy organizations published an open letter on March 9 that drew attention to the growing stigmatization of migrants and asylum seekers in the border city.
- There were 68 men from Central and South America being held in the facility.
- Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the fire was started after the migrants learned of their upcoming deportation:
“They never imagined that this would cause this terrible misfortune."
Updated March 13, 2023
Border crisis continues
- Hundreds of migrants rushed the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez border crossing after a rumor circulated that migrants would be allowed into the U.S. the day after two boats carrying migrants capsized off the coast of San Diego, killing eight.
- The border rush and the smuggling boat reflect the difficulty of being granted asylum to the U.S. and the increasing desperation of migrants who have often traveled thousands of miles to reach the border.
- In January, the U.S. released a scheduling app for prospective asylum seekers, and it is now mandatory for individuals to pre-book an appointment with border officials. Asylum seekers without an appointment are turned away, but the app has been beset by technical glitches and has been accused of having a coded bias against darker-skinned applicants.
Rumors at the border
- The rush began at noon on Sunday when a group of predominantly Venezuelan asylum seekers gathered en masse on the Paso Del Norte bridge connecting Ciudad Juarez to El Paso.
- The rumor that prompted the rush purported that refugees and asylum seekers would be allowed entry to the U.S. due to a "day of the migrant" exception, with express asylum being offered.
- Videos circulating on social media show women and children heading towards the border chanting "to the USA."
- Border security personnel in riot gear erected barbed wire fencing and dispersed tear gas throughout the crowd.
- The crowd had mostly dispersed by 5:30 p.m., but the crossing remained closed to vehicle traffic until 6:30 p.m.
Eight migrants confirmed dead after boats capsize
- Two smuggling boats carrying migrants capsized off the coast of San Diego, with eight on board confirmed dead and seven currently missing. There were an estimated twenty-three people on board the two boats.
- The boats capsized fifteen miles North of San Diego, near Black’s Beach, and are believed to be panga boats, small open boats with outboard engines that are frequently used by human smugglers. The boats likely capsized due to heavy fog.
- The victims were found in the water and along the sand by U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel after a woman on board one of the boats notified 911 that her boat had capsized.
- Hundreds of maritime smuggling operations take place annually as an alternative to crossing the dangerous land border. Authorities called it one of the deadliest human smuggling operations in U.S. history.
- The foreign consulate said it believes seven of the eight confirmed dead are of Mexican origin due to identification cards found on or near their bodies.
Updated March 7, 2023
- In the Mexican state of Veracruz, 103 unaccompanied migrant children were found with 212 unrelated adults in an abandoned truck. It is the largest discovery of migrant children found in recent history.
- The National Migration Institute (INM) said the children were predominantly from Guatemala, while the adults came from various countries in Central and South America.
- They were all wearing color-coded bracelets that identified them as the clients of people smugglers.
- The trailer was found without a driver and was customized with an extra floor to fit more people inside. Truck transport is extremely dangerous as migrants risk dying from heat exhaustion and suffocation.
- The children discovered on Monday will be placed in Veracruz's family services system, while the adults will be processed to find out their legal status in Mexico.
- Earlier this year, 57 migrant children from Guatemala were found unaccompanied in a truck at a checkpoint near the U.S-Mexico border.
What's the story?
- On Sunday, seventeen asylum seekers died in a bus crash as they traveled through the state of Puebla, Mexico, en route to the U.S. The crash comes days before the start of the public comment period on Biden's strict new asylum rule targeting the U.S.-Mexico border.
- The proposed rule would make asylum seekers ineligible for U.S. protection if they "circumvent" legal pathways.
The Biden administration's approach
- A proposal released on Tuesday by the Biden administration will ban migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border from claiming asylum in a move to deter people from coming to the border without receiving prior authorization.
- The proposal, issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Justice, will make it mandatory for asylum seekers to use existing legal pathways to enter the U.S., although the policy will not apply to unaccompanied minors.
- Immigration rights activists and fellow Democrats have criticized Biden’s border policies as being akin to those of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
- Eleanor Acer, refugee protection director at Human Rights First, said the restrictions on asylum are "right out of the Trump playbook."
- Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney, said:
"We successfully sued to block the Trump transit ban and will sue again if the Biden administration goes through with its plan."
- The proposed asylum rules come as the Covid border restrictions, known as Title 42, are set to end on May 11. Title 42 allowed U.S. authorities to expel migrants, regardless of nation of origin, to Mexico, without giving them a chance to claim asylum.
- The proposal is subject to a 30-day public comment period before being reviewed for final publication. Submit a formal comment here.
- There were forty-five asylum seekers on the bus that crashed last Sunday. They were from Venezuela, Colombia, and Central America.
- The crash comes a week after a bus carrying sixty-six migrants plunged off a cliff in Panama, killing thirty-nine people. The crash occurred after the bus successfully traversed the Darién Gap, one of the most dangerous regions in the world.
- An unknown number of people have died attempting to cross the Darién Gap between Panama and Colombia en route to the U.S.-Mexico border. According to the Panamanian government, roughly 250,000 migrants crossed the Darién Gap in 2022 alone, up from 133,000 in 2021.
Crisis at the border
- In May of 2022, U.S. law enforcement recorded 239,416 encounters at the Mexico border, the highest monthly number ever recorded.
- The International Organization for Migration estimates that there have been over 4,000 deaths at the U.S.-Mexico border since 2014, with countless migrants missing.
- In June 2022, 53 migrants were found asphyxiated near San Antonio, Texas, in the deadliest smuggling incident in U.S. history.
- There is also a growing rate of unaccompanied minors reaching the border. In the first half of the 2022 fiscal year, 100,336 unaccompanied minors were detained by U.S. border authorities.
- A lack of economic opportunities, environmental disasters, and increasing rates of gang violence and retribution have led to the steadily increasing number of migrants and asylum seekers at the border.
- Eduardo "Eddie'' Canales, the founder of the NGO South Texas Human Rights Center, said:
"South Texas is a burial ground for many migrants."
Do you support the Biden administration's new proposal to address the migrant crisis? Leave a comment.
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)
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No Amesty. They say it's wrong or racist to send illegal aliens back to their mother land because they do not know their country. Illegal aliens did do not know anything about the USA either and that did not stop them from coming to this Country. We can only absorb so much before collapse is imminent.💥 Illegal aliens lie and say they are running from violence persecution and the like. Lawyers and others tell them what to say and how to lie their way into our Country if they're not caught. GOD said Thou shalt not steal Thou shalt not kill and Thou shalt not covet. "Coveting" the American Dream.💥The USA isn't the employer or provider for another country's citizens.💥Start making those other countries step up to the plate and keep and take care of their own citizens. Goverments are suppose to take care of their own citizens.💥Illegal aliens do not Respect and they have not Pledged their Allegiance to our Country USA. They force themselves on us, they do not conform to the USA, but they want us to conform to them💥 Fact is we cannot support all the people in the world. The more that people come into this country illegally and are rewarded for it, the more others will want to do the same. This will put a huge financial strain on our country and could lead to economic collapse in which far more suffering will occur. Now, if people say that we are morally obligated to help others, then they must also consider the fact that our Citizens here in the United States also need to be helped first. We cannot do that by increasing the number of illegals who come into the country, give them housing, put them on welfare, provide housing (they steal, buy or use fake SSN to buy houses), provide drivers licenses for them to take our jobs, taking our children educations from them, and have the hard-working Americans support them. Again, if this is what we do, the influx of people in this country illegally will never stop. If anything, it will increase and contribute to economic collapse. Border security is a way to care for the welfare of the Citizens, including those immigrating legally.
The irony is that any time some idiot says "Biden has the borders wide open," it actually inspires more people to try to come here. If Republicans truly wanted to end this crisis, they should be bragging about how many people have been stopped at the border.
(The border is not open, btw, and if you don't believe me, try entering the country from Mexico without your passport.)
yes!!! its the human thing to do...and I don't care about lines drawn on maps by the ruling class. boarders are violence.
this is like asking if you should save a drowning child? and the reply from right wingers and neolibs alike is '' but my shoes will get wet.''
When in the hell is our divided congress going to "get a grip" on this situation and come up with a reasonable solution? This pitting each political party against each other must come to a damn stop. Some members from BOTH side are too busy pointing the finger at the other as to responsibility or lack of. Such behavior does nothing more than show a lust for power and control, greed, and encouraging a division amongst the population. It all boils down to power and money. AND it doesn't just mean our own country, but every country in the world. We are allowing government and religion to "destroy us from within". Which reminds me of a statement from a former USSR commisar hile pounding his shoe on the table. Incase you're not old enough, his name was Nikita Kruschiv (sp). Even as a child myself, I thought the action was childish and a strong sign of immaturity. Looks like the threat he offered is finally coming into play. We really have to start electing officials who will work for the good of the entire population and not just a select few of the privileged sect.
Nobody should be allowed into the country without being properly vetted. I see no problem with turning way any person, man or woman, individual or family that tries to enter illegally.nor do I think we should allow anybody with a criminal background. I am not in favor of a wall as a wall can be beaten and it will impede the free movement of wildlife. We need technology and officers guarding our borders.
Here is a silly thought and just my thinking....
You no all the billions we have sent over to Ukraine, how about using it for the border. Bulid the wall, hire more border patrol agents, etc, etc.
Why cant we use that money to protect and control OUR border.
And stating "our border" I mean protecting the national secuirty interest of these United States of America.
Which is the number one job for any President.
That includes Biden, Trump, Obama, Bush, and so on and so on.
This is horrible, and sadly shows another reason why migrants should not be held in detention centers, on either side of the border.
Causes asked several questions here (again), which confuses the issue.
I do not support "remain in Mexico" because of incidents like this. We can't help these migrants because they weren't in our country.
I think anybody who seeks asylum has a right to be heard based on international law. I would support non-criminal consequences for people who cross away from established border crossings, but I still think they have a right to be heard by an immigration judge to determine whether they qualify for asylum. Sending them back without a hearing violates the law and is cruel.
When will Congress stand up for humanity and pass legislation to fund the system and help process all these migrants instead of just locking them up or turning them away?
WOW!! The rehtoric from the left is mind boggling. THe wall should be built, and also add more border guards and technology. Most of the illegals are coing up from South America, Nicuragua, Honduros, and other South countries. The international law for claiming asylum is that an assylum seeker be opressed by thier government, religious persecution, etc... and then they MUST claim assylum at the first country they come to which would be at least, Mexico., if not Honduros. If they do not claim assy.um at those borders then they cannot claim assylum in any other country. So all of you idiots that promote the take over of this country, need to research the laws on assylum. In the US, most of the major cities are run down and people living there are facing the same conditions as the sl called assylum seekers at the border. So, where do the oppressed and poor go form those cities? Do they go to Canada?? All of you fools need to use your brains. This is not a democrat or Republican thing. Even though the nasty news media tells you that, it is not. It is a national security issue, a financial fiscal issue, as all of those so called assylum seekers get free housing, food, education, medical, etc... veterans who fought for this country don't get free anything. Even the poorest of our population don't get all of that free stuff.
Most of you are just using this tragedy as an excuse to promote open borders. If we were to let everyone in, what would be your plan? How will you deal with the resource crisis that would result? None of you seem to care about the impact on our existing citizens. Do any of you live in border areas? As you can imagine, they have pretty strong opinions on the subject. I'm all for helping these people in some way (preferably by helping to fix the problems in the countries from which they came), but you need to be practical about it.
Question: Who the hell started the rumors in the first place? Sounds fishy to me as if someone is "stirring the pot" to cause more problems. I can't believe how so many people get worked up over the "smoke and mirrors" being encouraged. Come in through the proper channels or stay home and take the risk of making changes there. If enough drops of water is put into a bucket, the bucket will eventually overflow. Be a "drop of water". Fighting and dying for what you believe in is more honorable than living in fear and poverty. Another old saying: "Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see." Even appearances can be decieving. Blessings to all.
We have the right to protect our borders. These people want the immigrants because they are going to vote for them. I don't support this open for all. It's funny the same people who are talking about Norway and the other countries that we should be like. I hate to say this but they don't accept the burden of immigrants. We should make some services available after they get their citizenship!
I went back and re-read this so I could have a better understanding of the situation. Seems as if money is being exchanged to get these illegals into our country. Evidently, it is nothing more than profiteering off the troubles of others. This activity should be fully investigated to find out who is responsible. It is said to "follow the money" to the source. Sounds like a good reason to raise the taxes on the wealthiest and reduce their tax shelters. Strangely, this would also have a positive effect on the nation's budget. Wouldn't surprise me if the GOP was behind all of this BS. Not saying they are, but it is a possibility.
The Crisis is not at our border.
The real crisis is in Central America. And that crisis is driving people to flee their homes and risk their lives to find a safer place.
I have an idea! Let all the Immigrants in and deport the entire GOP!
Since the MAGAS and GOP are SO concerned with 'Helping The Children' I am not sure why this is even a question.
Of course, it's never been about 'the children', as we can see via Idaho, Ioawa and the like.
How do you turn innocent children whom are fleeing from atrocoties?
Anyone who disagrees with helping them should be forced to make a Game of Thrones 'Walk of Shame' while bells are rung and SHAME is chanted!
It is shameful that we are allowing illegal immigrants access to our country. Plus getting benefits that many of our fellow citizens do not get. It is time to stop this.
In 62 years 1892-1954 13 Million people many our great grandparents, immigrated LEGALLY at Ellis Island. In just 2 years of Biden/Mayorkas OVER 5 MILLION immigrants have ILLEGALLY crossed the border without even health checks they did back in 1892. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellis_Island#Immigration_procedures
"We need to provide more resources to process claims faster at all points of entry. This would allow people to use the FRONT door rather than the BACKdoor!"
It's best to keep in mind that there are many who want to keep all doors tightly closed.
we create most of the worlds refugees through our own policies overseas. sanctions hurt people, economic exploitation of developing nations creates refugees. we have a moral duty to welcom them.
I have read the Biden Administration's immigration plan it seems to secure the boarder, while allowing immigration/asylum that is safer and more humane and is in coordination with other western countries to improve safety for immigrants and asylum seekers.
I would also recommend that cities across the US share in the support of immigrants and asylum seekers. That a system be developed that removes the burden from cities on the southern border and allows immigrants and asylum seekers to wait in other US cities with sponsors or family.