WASHINGTON, D.C. — Almost 100 migrants — men, women and children — were found Monday in the back of a deserted semitrailer in nearly 100-degree weather in San Antonio. The death toll has risen to at least 50.
The heartbreaking news comes after migrant deaths near the border hit a record in 2021 and are on pace to break that record this year. Today faith, law enforcement, and national security leaders are among those pushing for Congress to respond with policies that decrease the likelihood of similar tragedies occurring in the future.
“Like so many Americans, I am devastated by the horrifying loss of life in San Antonio. As Christians, we believe that each of these lives was made by God, in his image, with dignity and value,” said Matthew Soerens, National Coordinator of the Evangelical Immigration Table. “As we pray for God’s mercy and peace that passes understanding for the families of those whose lives were lost, we also continue to urge our government to restore legal immigration processes that have been halted under the pretext of the pandemic and to expand lawful migration opportunities, rather than sustaining a situation where desperate people fleeing hardship often feel they have no choice but to risk their lives to reach freedom and safety.”
“The horrendous scene in San Antonio highlights once again the need for border reform, making border processing more effective and humane, and illegal and dangerous border crossings less frequent,” Julie Myers Wood, a Council on National Security and Immigration leader, said in a statement.
“What happened in San Antonio is heartbreaking,” LEITF Co-Chair Chief Orlando Rolón, Orlando, Florida, said in a statement. “It is also proof that many human beings are desperate enough to use unthinkable means to find a better life in this country. This makes them more vulnerable to smugglers and dangerous conditions along the border. By reforming our immigration system and doing more to help our neighboring countries prosper, Congress can help prevent additional tragedies.”
“Even as we mourn, we must look toward solutions,” said Dan Gordon, Vice President of Strategic Communications at National Immigration Forum. “In the name of human lives and human dignity, Congress should act quickly on solutions that bring compassion, security and order to our border. Solutions exist: Expand capacity at land ports of entry. Invest in technology and training so CBP can help migrants in distress. Expand permanent and temporary ways for people to apply to enter the U.S. legally.”