Fire At Migrant Detention Facility In Mexico Kills 39 Men

A fire at an immigration detention facility in northern Mexico has resulted in the deaths of at least 39 people and left another 29 injured. The incident took place on Monday night at a facility in Ciudad Juarez, which is located across the border from El Paso, Texas. The facility was holding 68 adult men from Central and South America, according to Mexico’s National Immigration Institute. Ciudad Juarez is a significant crossing point for people seeking to enter the United States, with shelters in the area full of migrants and refugees waiting for opportunities to cross or who have requested asylum in the US.

Images from the scene showed ambulances, firefighters, and vans from the morgue surrounding the smoke-covered facility, with rows of bodies lying under silver sheets. The cause of the fire is currently unknown, but the attorney general’s office in Mexico has launched an inquiry, and investigators are now at the scene. The governmental National Human Rights Commission has been called in to help the migrants and has condemned the actions that led to the tragedy without providing any further explanation of what those actions might have been.

The US administration of President Joe Biden has been hoping to curb the number of people undertaking often dangerous journeys organised by human smugglers to get to the US. In February, Biden proposed new restrictions on asylum seekers, hoping to prevent a rush of people to the southern border once COVID-related controls are lifted. The new rules say that those who arrive at the border and simply cross into the United States will no longer be eligible for asylum. Instead, they must apply first for asylum in one of the countries they pass through to get to the US border or apply online via a US government app.

According to a recent report by the International Organization for Migration, about 200,000 people try to cross the border from Mexico to the US each month. Most are from Central and South America and cite poverty and violence back home in requesting asylum. The report also stated that since 2014, about 7,661 people have died or disappeared en route to the US, while 988 perished in accidents or while travelling in subhuman conditions.


Source: Aljazeera