FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Press Contact: Jessica Ortiz, [email protected]
San Antonio, Texas – In response to the tragedy where at least 50 migrants were found deceased in an abandoned truck in San Antonio last night, RAICES, who was among the first legal service providers on the scene, released the following statement:
We are horrified and dismayed by the horrific and tragic loss of life last night in our community here in San Antonio. At least 50 lives were lost because of an immigration system that dehumanizes and criminalizes those who seek asylum within our borders. As we grieve, our hearts are also with the families and loved ones of the victims and survivors who have yet to be named.
Let’s be clear: This tragedy is a failure of leadership at all levels of government. It should never have happened and we are committed to making sure that it will never happen again. Responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of Gov. Greg Abbott, Rep. Tony Gonzales, Sen. Ted Cruz, and their cronies whose political stunts exploit immigrants for political gain and whose failure in leadership leaves communities like ours reeling from avoidable tragedies like this one.
Gov. Abbott, Rep. Gonzalez, and Sen. Cruz, aren’t just failing our communities, but also blatantly weaponizing this tragedy to codify the racist Title 42 policy – which would inevitably put more human lives at risk of danger and death and make tragedies such as these a daily occurence. Cruel immigration policies like Title 42 have decimated our asylum system, and forced people to make unimaginable choices in their journey to seek safety and refuge in the U.S. Seeking asylum is a human right and President Biden should have ended Title 42 on day one of his administration.
This tragedy also comes as we await a Supreme Court decision in Biden v. Texas, which could uphold Remain in Mexico, a policy that violates people’s internationally-protected right to seek asylum and forces thousands of migrants into deadly and terrifying conditions.
We need a welcoming immigration system that recognizes the humanity of all people. If the Biden administration continues to illegally turn away migrants and deny their chance to rightfully seek asylum, individuals and families escaping persecution, war, and climate disasters will continue to face violence and death. Creating a just immigration system starts with ending Title 42 and Remain in Mexico, which is why RAICES has been leading the fight to end both policies. Tell the Biden Administration to take action here.
RAICES was among the first legal service providers on the scene last night, and we will continue to marshal all of our resources to provide financial assistance and legal services to the survivors and their families. We are committed to ensuring that survivors are provided with support and care, and are not detained or deported after experiencing this unimaginable trauma.
RAICES and organizations along the border and across the country remain ready to welcome immigrants to our communities once the dehumanizing Title 42 and Remain in Mexico policies rightfully come to an end.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. Learn more at Raicestexas.org.