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US-Mexico border - 51 refugees found dead in an abandoned truck

In the state of #Texas, the shocking discovery of an abandoned truck carrying dozens of refugees, 51 of whom had already died from asphyxiation and heatstroke, served as a stark reminder that escaping violence and poverty means risking a brutal and demeaning death.

This latest disaster, which occurred on June 27th, is tragically not beyond the scope of the deaths that have resulted from the increasing militarisation of the #US-#Mexico border; the death toll dwarfs in comparison to the more than 7,000 deaths reported at the same border over the past 25 years. In 2021 alone, at least 650 #refugees died trying to cross into US territory. Although these figures are astonishingly high, they were indeed all individual human beings with distinct journeys and stories, deserving of a dignified life.

Pedro Gerson, an immigration law professor, correctly calls upon us to blame the Biden administration for the horrific deaths that occurred recently in Texas. However, this is not a new phenomenon, with decades-long US policies promoting mass death on their borders and immigration routes. As Gerson elucidates, the Biden administration claimed that the "tragedy was caused by #smugglers and that more law enforcement is needed", without acknowledging the role "that its own restrictive immigration policies played in the tragedy.”

Deterrents won’t work as long as the main drivers forcing people to flee are still in place. These go from war and internal conflicts to food insecurity, natural disasters, climatic events, economic fallouts and so on. Albeit, when it comes to non-white refugees and asylum seekers, no reason seems to be good enough to implement adequate immigration policies.

We must not let politicians continue to blame refugees themselves for searching for a better life, and neither should political discourses prevail over refugee narratives.

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