Awareness - April 4, 2023 - We Welcome

Awareness - April 4, 2023

Thirty-nine dead in fire at Mexico migrant facility across from El Paso, Texas

At least 39 migrants died and over two dozen were seriously injured in a fire in a Mexican detention center in Ciudad Juarez last Monday. Surveillance video shows that some of the individuals who had been detained set mattresses on fire inside the center, while guards walked away and made no attempt to release the men, who were being detained and awaiting deportation after being picked up by authorities while working as street vendors. Immigration advocates have been raising concerns around poor conditions and overcrowding in detention centers as the numbers of people migrating have grown and on Tuesday protestors outside of the immigration office asked the government to take accountability and treat migrants as human beings. “Our hearts go out to the victims and their families,” said Jennie Murray, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “This tragedy is just one example of the dangers that people face while trying to reach safety in the United States. The U.S. and Mexico must implement policies that respect human life and dignity and protect the rights of all people — first and foremost the right to life.”

On Thursday, a Mexican court issued arrest orders for 6 people in connection to the fire, including three officials from the National Institute of Migration (NIM), two security guards from a private firm contracted by the NIM, and a migrant accused of starting the fire. Federal investigators from the federal Attorney General’s Office accused the Chihuahua state delegate for the NIM of giving the order by phone call that “under no circumstances should the migrants ‘housed’ inside” the detention facility be released.

February border encounter numbers down significantly 

The number of migrant encounters along the southern border reached a peak of more than 250,000 in December and was down almost 40% in February, with a total of 155,000 encounters recorded for the month. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas credits President Biden’s expanded humanitarian parole program for individuals coming from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela with the decline. However, despite the decrease, encounters in January were still 300% above the pre-pandemic numbers in January 2020. These numbers are evidence that our lawmakers must be proactive rather than reactive when addressing the shifting migration patterns around the world. Learn more and contact your elected officials using this link.