Frontera Texas Organizing Project Demand Immediate Action to Stop Migrant Deaths
EL PASO, TX – During a daytime vigil held today to honor the lives of migrants who tragically perished in Texas in the past weeks, the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) and advocacy member groups from the Frontera Texas Organizing Project called federal and Texas authorities to act swiftly to stop the senseless death of migrants seeking refuge in the United States. Integrated by eight border-area organizations and coordinated by BNHR, the Frontera Texas Organizing Project made an urgent plea to the U.S. government to connect with and inform the families of the victims lost this week in San Antonio, Texas, and provide them with logistical, legal, social, and monetary support to have their lost loved ones back in their countries for a dignified burial. They also demanded Gov. Abbott to immediately discontinue the anti-immigrant, anti-refugee Lone Star Operation at the Texas-Mexico border, an operation that has wasted $8 billion of Texas taxpayers’ money in the deployment of state troopers and the national guard, and invest those funds in the urgent needs of border communities, including access to healthcare, nutrition, education, housing, and jobs. The advocacy groups also made the following demands:
For the Biden administration to use administrative action to immediately cease the practice of Title 42, regardless of the court battles, since these Trumpist strategies are directly responsible for migrants desperately crossing the border in dangerous, isolated, and remote places.
For the Biden administration to stop returning asylum seekers and refugees at ports of entry and comply with international law to provide protection, legal rights, and due process to asylum seekers, refugees, unaccompanied minors, and migrants' families.
For the Biden administration to urgently invest in welcoming infrastructures at the border, especially building welcoming centers where refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, and migrant families can be provided with shelter, basic legal services, healthcare, and social services, and support coordination for rapid family reunification.
For Congress to stop their political games and work to fix the broken immigration system by providing the 11 million undocumented Americans a clear pathway to citizenship and expanding legal avenues for separated families, unaccompanied minors, asylum seekers, refugees, and workers to come legally to the United States without being subjected to violence and death.
“The situation at our border has reached its limit, evidenced by the death of more than 50 migrants in San Antonio and others who perished recently in the irrigation canals in El Paso. Frankly, this is unsustainable. The so-called deterrence policies from the federal and the Texas governments on the U.S.-Mexico border have already claimed an average of over three people per day, that’s a thousand migrant lives a year, a record broken by the tragedy in San Antonio due to the senseless and inhumane programs like Title 42, the Migrant Protection Protocol program (MPP), the border wall, and especially Gov. Abbott's statewide Lone Star Operation in Texas. Those who call themselves leaders and who are vehemently insisting on these racist and deadly immigration policies are responsible for the catastrophic human rights crisis that we are facing today. We are drawing the line here, it must stop now, and we are holding them accountable,” said Fernando García, executive director of the BNHR. García remarked that with the disastrous border policies that the United States has in place, migrants and refugees hoping to find a safe haven in the U.S. are using more distant and dangerous routes, even risking their lives using unsafe ways and conditions, such as cargo transportation, as the San Antonio tragedy shows. The Frontera Texas Organizing Project is integrated by the following organizations: ARISE Adelante, Border Network for Human Rights, Border Workers United, Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe, Casa de la Cultura, Casa del Proyecto Libertad, La Union del Pueblo Unido (LUPE), Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos, Sierra Blanca Legal Defense.
Founded in 1998, the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) is one of the leading human rights advocacy and immigration reform organizations in the U.S. BNHR has over 7,000 members in West Texas and Southern New Mexico. To learn more about BNHR, please visit https://bnhr.org/.
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