US and Mexico React to 53 Migrant Deaths in Texas

Headline Roundup June 29th, 2022

The deaths of at least 53 migrants found in a hot tractor-trailer near San Antonio, Texas prompted reactions from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Three men connected to the tractor-trailer were arrested by U.S. officials on Tuesday. The dead included 39 men and 14 women, officials said, reportedly including 5 children. Officials said the survivors were “hot to the touch” and suffering from heat stroke and heat exhaustion; like many parts of the U.S. and Mexico, Texas has experienced intense heat waves and drought this year. 

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg called the deaths “a horrific human tragedy.” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador blamed the “tremendous tragedy” on poverty, desperation and a “lack of control” at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has seen record numbers of asylum seekers and illegal crossings. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the deaths were “on Biden,” arguing that “They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.” Meanwhile, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the deaths could be a “Uvalde moment” to inspire an immigration reform deal. 

Voices across the spectrum discussed U.S. immigration policy on Wednesday. Coverage and voices from the right often blamed President Joe Biden for the deaths and framed Latin American leaders as blaming Biden. Coverage from the left pushed back on Abbott’s arguments and focused on the “risks” migrants face.

From the Center
317
OPINION

The death toll of migrants who have succumbed to the heat after being trapped in a tractor-trailer has risen to more than 50.

Discovered Monday night on a remote stretch on San Antonio’s Southwest Side, these migrants deserved a humane and fair immigration system — one that honors the rights of asylum workers, recognizes our workforce needs and reflects the inherent dignity in all people.

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From the Left
317
ANALYSIS

In April, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state police to inspect every commercial vehicle entering Texas through a port of entry, saying the painful step was needed because the Biden administration was not doing its job to secure the border.

Drug cartels, Abbott said, were using “dangerous commercial trucks” to smuggle “immigrants, deadly fentanyl and other illegal cargo” into the state. The “enhanced commercial vehicle inspections” at the border caused hourslong delays at the inland ports, essentially grinding trade with Mexico to a halt and costing Texas businesses millions in losses.

After a week and...

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From the Right
317
OPINION

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is absolutely right to say the deaths of at least 51 migrants in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio “are on Biden” and to call the president’s border policies “deadly.”

Those migrants died because the traffickers they entrusted with their lives abandoned them in the baking heat and left them to suffocate. Those traffickers depend on a porous border and Biden’s overt gestures of welcome for their customer base. 

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