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CRIMINAL IMMIGRATION POLICY

Jun 30, 2022

CRIMINAL IMMIGRATION POLICY

La Jornada editorial, Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Not three days had passed since 37 people lost their lives in the desperate attempt to set foot on European soil in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents found an abandoned trailer on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas, with 51 dead migrants and 16 injured inside. It is presumed that the victims were left to die in the midst of a human smuggling operation. According to preliminary figures, 27 of the dead were Mexican, seven Guatemalans, and two Hondurans, and the rest remain unidentified.

CRIMINAL IMMIGRATION POLICY

Immediately, it is vital to investigate the chain of events that led to the criminal abandonment of the vehicle in an area with temperatures of over 100 degrees, to identify those responsible, prosecute them according to the law, and impose exemplary sanctions, in accordance with the seriousness of the case. What occurred on Monday is another reminder that human trafficking claims as many or more lives as other illicit activities that are pursued more vigorously. Furthermore, it cannot be forgotten that this crime is intertwined with others, such as drug trafficking.

But it is clear that the activity of the so-called “polleros”, migrant smugglers, with all the violence and suffering it causes, is only one of many pernicious effects of the underlying problem, Washington’s anti-immigrant policy. A policy that is senseless in its denial of development possibilities to millions of people who come attracted by the economy of the neighboring country to the north, but also, and incomprehensibly, because of the damage the superpower inflicts on itself by preventing the arrival of a labor force that its economy urgently requires. In several parts of the country, businessmen report that they have had to increase the prices of their products and services due to the lack of migrant labor, while farmers have been forced to substitute crops that are harvested by hand for those that can be picked by machines, which has been an additional factor in the inflationary crisis that the United States is experiencing.

Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott

This absurdity borders on the insane, because, at a time when record numbers of detentions of undocumented migrants are being recorded, the most backward sectors of society blame the tragedy on an alleged laxity in the application of immigration laws. Such is the case of the despicable Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, who maintained that the deaths are the responsibility of President Joe Biden and his deadly open borders policy, without realizing that, if there were open borders, migrants would not be crammed into trailers or find themselves in the need to resort to human smugglers.

At the same time, the fact that this episode occurred within the United States, 250 kilometers from the border, shows the corruption that exists within that country, where there is a tendency to focus all the blame on other parts of the world and pretend that human trafficking networks operate in Mexico or Central America, but not in their own nation. It is now clear that north of the Rio Grande there are criminal complicities that have turned immigration restrictions into a bloody business. This is the case with immigration restrictions that have been in effect for some time as well as those imposed during the aggressive xenophobic campaign of former President Donald Trump, and which the current administration has not been able to eliminate.

In the case of Mexico, we must demand a thorough investigation of the recent tragedy, cooperate in the investigations, and spare no legal, economic, and psychological assistance to the injured and the families of the bereaved. But we should also insist on the elaboration of a regional migration policy with two major objectives: to mitigate the causes that push people to leave their places of origin, and to ensure that those who undertake the exodus do so in conditions that do not violate their integrity or their human rights and, above all, that do not endanger their lives.

Source: https://www.jornada.com.mx/2022/06/29/edito

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