Follow Us:

Migrant Tragedy

Monday bears witness to decidedly the worst tragedy to have afflicted migrants who were trying to cross over from Mexico to the United States of America.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The deaths of at least 51 people in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio (Texas) recall the dangers that migrants face. Such dangers have only intensified as both law enforcement agencies and smugglers use increasingly sophisticated methods while trying to outwit each other. The trapped people were found only after a worker heard someone cryng for help. Monday bears witness to decidedly the worst tragedy to have afflicted migrants who were trying to cross over from Mexico to the United States of America.

A heartrending tragedy has occurred along a direly sensitive international border. San Antonio was the site of a not dissimilar tragedy in 2017, when ten migrants died. While the scale of the latest tragedy is shocking, the fact that it happened isn’t surprising, given the prevalence of using “semis” to transport migrants. The tragedy also says a lot about US immigration at the southern border, and not merely Tijuana. Immigration officials said it was unlikely that the migrants were brought over from Mexico in the truck. “This is a very sophisticated operation that entails vast networks into Mexico, Central America, all the way up to Texas, Midwest, East and West Coast,” said Roger Enriquez, executive director of Westside Community Partnerships in San Antonio.

“The tractor trailer part of the journey may very well end here, but it didn’t start necessarily in Mexico because US Customs and Border Patrol agents use very sophisticated undercarriage X-ray systems,” he added. People who want to evade the authorities face an array of challenges ~ from X-rays to K-9 teams and cameras. As in the 2017 tragedy, it is likely that people who were in the trailer in San Antonio on Monday had crossed the border on foot, before gathering in Laredo to be loaded onto a truck. The city is just 150 miles from the US-Mexico border, on two busy corridors that reach across America ~ running between Los Angeles and Florida and up north to Minnesota. San Antonio is an important corridor for goods and also unfortunately for smuggling and trafficking of people.

Human traffickers thrive in areas where their trucks can mix with other vehicles. Mexico’s foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, said in a tweet that the dead include 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans. The others have not yet been identified. For migrants, the financial costs of entering America are steep. “We’ve heard reports of tens of thousands of dollars, depending on where they’re coming from and where their destination is,” said an immigration official. “We also have to keep in mind that many of these folks already have families in the United States, and they are simply either trying to reunify with families here or are in families with mixed citizenship.”

It is a terrible human tragedy and it continues to happen on what they call a “too regular basis”. Attributing the tragedy to an unusually hot spell ~ by implication suffocation ~ in America can only obfuscate reality The deaths of at least 51 people in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio (Texas) recall the dangers that migrants face. Such dangers have only intensified as both law enforcement agencies and smugglers use increasingly sophisticated methods while trying to outwit each other. The trapped people were found only after a worker heard someone crying for help. Monday bears witness to decidedly the worst tragedy to have afflicted migrants who were trying to cross over from Mexico to the United States of America.

A heartrending tragedy has occurred along a direly sensitive international border. San Antonio was the site of a not dissimilar tragedy in 2017, when ten migrants died. While the scale of the latest tragedy is shocking, the fact that it happened isn’t surprising, given the prevalence of using “semis” to transport migrants. The tragedy also says a lot about US immigration at the southern border, and not merely Tijuana. Immigration officials said it was unlikely that the migrants were brought over from Mexico in the truck. “This is a very sophisticated operation that entails vast networks into Mexico, Central America, all the way up to Texas, Midwest, East and West Coast,” said Roger Enriquez, executive director of Westside Community Partnerships in San Antonio.

“The tractor trailer part of the journey may very well end here, but it didn’t start necessarily in Mexico because US Customs and Border Patrol agents use very sophisticated undercarriage X-ray systems,” he added. People who want to evade the authorities face an array of challenges ~ from X-rays to K-9 teams and cameras. As in the 2017 tragedy, it is likely that people who were in the trailer in San Antonio on Monday had crossed the border on foot, before gathering in Laredo to be loaded onto a truck. The city is just 150 miles from the US-Mexico border, on two busy corridors that reach across America ~ running between Los Angeles and Florida and up north to Minnesota.

San Antonio is an important corridor for goods and also unfortunately for smuggling and trafficking of people. Human traffickers thrive in areas where their trucks can mix with other vehicles. Mexico’s foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, said in a tweet that the dead include 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans. The others have not yet been identified. For migrants, the financial costs of entering America are steep. “We’ve heard reports of tens of thousands of dollars, depending on where they’re coming from and where their destination is,” said an immigration official. “We also have to keep in mind that many of these folks already have families in the United States, and they are simply either trying to reunify with families here or are in families with mixed citizenship.” It is a terrible human tragedy and it continues to happen on what they call a “too regular basis”. Attributing the tragedy to an unusually hot spell ~ by implication suffocation ~ in America can only obfuscate reality.