No more victims at the border: A call for Humanitarian Corridors in the United States

In light of the tragedy of the more than 50 immigrants found in San Antonio this morning, we express our indignation at the current policy towards migrants in the United States. The current lack of empathy and welcome to migrants and harsh policy of violence and walls has forced thousands on perilous paths. We call for an implementation of Humanitarian Corridors here in the United States.

Migration in our globalized world is a reality that involves all of us and in front of which we cannot be silent. Unfortunately, almost daily, there are reports of tragedy as thousands of refugees continue to try and cross the American border. The journey for migrants is extremely dangerous and occasionally fatal. Unable to enter through legal means, migrants resort to smugglers and other perilous alternatives. Forced to travel in trailers, vans, and trucks, often in large numbers, through hazardous weather, many die.

And in recent years, dozens of migrants have died in crashes while traveling north. Some of the deadliest of the last ten years include:

  • 2003 (Victoria, TX): 17 migrants, including a 7 year-old boy, died of overheat
  • 2012 (South Texas): A truck with more than 20 migrants crashed into two trees, killing 15 people
  • 2017 (San Antonio, TX): 200 migrants traveled in a tractor-trailer without water, fresh air or food. 10 died and 30 were hospitalized
  • 2019 (South Texas): More than a dozen migrants were in an an S.U.V., that crashed in attempts to out-run the police. Six individuals died.  
  • 2021 (Southern California): A truck carrying 25 people was so heavy, it could not come to a stop in time before crashing with a turning truck on the highway. 13 people died.
  • 2021 (South Texas): A truck packed with more than 30 migrants veered into a utility pole, unable to make a right turn. 10 died and 20 were injured.

And most recently, the atrocious news of three people found on the side of the road and fifty more packed inside a truck in San Antonio, Texas. All died of overheating and dehydration, several remain in dire and unstable conditions at the nearby hospital.

These are tragedies before which we cannot hide behind a wall. We hear the words of Andrea Riccardi, founder of Sant’Egidio, before the opening of the Humanitarian Corridors—an effort to safely bring migrants across the Mediterranean Sea in Europe—anew: “We’re almost used to the dead at sea. I wonder if we are moved any more, as a few months ago, by the death of Aylan, the Syrian-Kurdish child drowned in the Mediterranean. We must break the chain of deaths.”

It is time for a new page in the history. A time for Humanitarian Corridors here in the United States, where no one has to risk their life to enter America and where we can welcome and integrate migrants.

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