Death toll of migrant tragedy in Texas reaches 53

President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, which are largely the same as those of former President Donald Trump, have been pushing people to take increasingly dangerous routes to reach the US

July 01, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Migrants death US
The US authorities found 46 migrants dead and 16 others unconscious in a stifling trailer on a remote road in San Antonio, Texas, on June 27. (Photo: BNO News/Twitter)

53 Latin American migrants died after being abandoned in a stifling tractor-trailer on the side of a remote road in the city of San Antonio in the state of Texas, US. The authorities discovered the trailer on Monday, June 27. 46 people were found dead and 16 others, including four children, were barely conscious. They were taken to hospitals where in the past three days seven more people passed away. 40 of the victims were male and 13 were female.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood reported that the patients were hot to the touch and severely dehydrated and that there were no signs of water in the trailer. Police Chief William McManus reported that a city worker who was working in a nearby building heard a cry for help and went out to investigate. He found the trailer doors partially opened and looked inside to discover the gruesome scene. He then alerted the police on Monday evening. He also informed that three people had been taken into custody over the incident: the truck’s driver, a Texas native, and two Mexican nationals. They were charged with human trafficking offenses in a US federal court on Wednesday, June 29.

The tragic event is considered to be the worst disaster involving migrants who have died attempting to cross the US border from Mexico in recent decades. Five years ago, in 2017, a similar migrant tragedy was recorded in the same city when 10 people suffocated to death in a sweltering trailer. In 2003 as well, 19 migrants were found dead in a sweltering truck in the southeast of San Antonio.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard lamented the horrific human tragedy. He offered updates on the latest developments related to the incident on his Twitter account and said that the governments of the US and Mexico would work together to locate and punish those responsible for the tragedy. He also reported that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador would meet with US President Joe Biden on July 12 to discuss the issue of migration.

According to US authorities, 27 of those who perished were Mexicans, 14 were Hondurans, seven Guatemalans, and two Salvadorans. The nationality of the other migrants remains unclear. The Mexican, Guatemalan, and Honduran Foreign Ministries have initiated measures to confirm the identities of the deceased.

The incident has once again highlighted the growing migration crisis in the region. Every year, thousands of Central Americans in an attempt to escape extreme poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunities in their countries set off on the perilous journey to the US with the hope of applying for humanitarian asylum there. In recent years, with the worsening of their situation due to the pandemic, an increasing number of people have been taking on the journey.

After the inauguration of President Biden, who promised to reverse his predecessor Donald Trump’s strict immigration policies during his election campaign, the number of migrants coming through the US-Mexico border has multiplied. However, Biden’s border policies are largely the same as those of President Trump and have been pushing people towards taking more dangerous routes.

The neoliberal economic model and austerity policies promoted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and supported by the US in the form of destabilization attempts and unilateral sanctions against the governments that promote socialist economic models have forced the poor working class in these countries to turn to their imperialist aggressor for a better life.