WASHINGTON, DC – Several news outlets reported that more than 50 immigrants have been found dead outside San Antonio, Texas. They were presumably left abandoned in a semi-truck in inhumane conditions under the infernal + 95 degrees heat reported in Texas while crossing the Mexico-US border. CASA Executive Director Gustavo Torres issued the following statement in response to the tragedy.
“Everyone knows that crossing into the United States is a dangerous decision to make – one that is often made in desperation, as the United States rarely if ever safe passage or in-country asylum is offered to Central Americans or Africans. It is heartbreaking to see the neglect and mistreatment that people must suffer through to find refuge and better opportunities in the US. The 50 killed by sweltering, inhumane conditions are not just numbers: they are family members, parents, siblings, cousins, and friends who lost their lives. As agencies work to identify the lost, we can’t let their names be forgotten. Congress must remember that tragedies like this can be avoided by offering safe passage to people seeking asylum, protection, and better economic opportunities.”
The LA Times calls it one of the deadliest human-smuggling incidents in recent U.S. history. Those immigrants suffered “from heat stroke, heat exhaustion. [There were] no signs of water in the vehicle. It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, but there was no visible, working AC unit on that rig.”
With over 122,000 lifetime Latino, immigrant, and working-class members across 46 US states, CASA is the foremost immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region and a national leader in supporting immigrant families and ensuring that all individuals have the core support necessary for full participation in society. Now a national immigrant powerhouse, CASA creates change with its powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.