Not long ago, there was a national shocking death of immigrants in the United States.
The bodies of dozens of migrants were found inside an abandoned truck in suburban San Antonio, Texas, on June 27. According to reports, most of the dead came from Latin American countries such as Mexico and Guatemala.
Illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border has been a constant concern. When we sighed, it was brought to the field of political public opinion again. The two parties “dumped the pot” against each other. With about four months to go before the midterm elections, Republicans are trying to attract conservative voters by attacking Biden’s immigration policies; Democrats are pushing hard for immigration policy reforms to win the support of minority voters.
Unfortunately, U.S. First Lady Jill Biden said at an event in San Antonio on July 11 that Hispanics are as unique as a “Breakfast Taco.” This sparked criticism from all walks of life. One mocked: “No wonder Latinos are fleeing the Democratic Party.”
On the afternoon of June 27, local time, a truck was abandoned on a remote road in the southwestern suburbs of San Antonio, and there was a cry for help. A staff member from a nearby building heard the sound and came over and found that the door of the car was half open, and some people inside were dying, and some had died.
The next scene shocked them: San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood opened the car door and found “heaps of dead bodies” inside. Rescuers arrived at the scene around 6 p.m. and found at least 46 people dead in the carriage. Subsequently, 16 people were taken to hospital, including 4 children.
According to US media reports, 22 of the dead were from Mexico, seven were from Guatemala and two were from Honduras.
Summer in San Antonio is very hot, with temperatures reaching 39.4°C that day. According to the chief of the fire department, there was neither air conditioning nor drinking water in the carriage, and the body temperature of the stowaways inside was “hot to the hand”. The deceased most likely died of heat stroke and lack of water. Media reports say it could be the deadliest human smuggling case on the U.S.-Mexico border in decades.
Edward Rayner was a security guard at a nearby lumber yard. Faced with this tragedy, he felt it would happen sooner or later, as he had witnessed migrants jumping off trains near the crime scene on several occasions. He felt that sooner or later someone was going to have an accident.
San Antonio is 250 kilometers from the U.S.-Mexico border, a short drive of just a few hours. Jake Staten, a former senior official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, pointed out that I-35 near the scene of the crime is a major U.S. arterial line that stretches all the way to the border with Mexico. There is a lot of truck traffic on this road. In addition, most of the roads leading to San Antonio are located in rural areas, which is more conducive to criminals smuggling people through here.
They usually come to San Antonio by truck, then transfer to a car and travel across the United States. Immigrants typically pay between $8,000 and $10,000 in order to enter.
The migrants were simply deported back to Mexico without criminal penalties or detention.
US First Lady Jill Biden speaks at an event in San Antonio on July 11, 2022
As one can see, this “business” is not 100% safe and secure. Similar accidents have been staged many times in San Antonio. In 2017, 10 migrants suffocated to death in a stuffy trailer outside a Walmart in the city’s south, and dozens more were hospitalized with heat stroke and dehydration. It is said that there were 200 people in the car at the time. The air conditioner in the car was broken and the vents were blocked.
Some didn’t even get out of Mexico. In December, more than 50 people were killed when a two-wheeled trailer overturned on a highway in southern Mexico. In October of the same year, Mexican authorities found six trailers at a military checkpoint near the border with a total of 652 people trying to smuggle them.
Illegal immigrants to the United States are mostly from Latin American countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In order to escape poverty and violence, they ventured into the United States in search of a new life.
However, the smugglers who promised to bring them into the United States did not seem to care whether they lived or died. This “ticket” of thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars has fulfilled some people and ended some people.
“Article 42” Disputes
Southern Texas has long been a hotspot for illegal border crossings. U.S. authorities find trucks with migrants here almost every day. People smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border has cost thousands of lives for decades.
Only 26 percent of Latinos approve of Biden’s performance as president, compared with 55 percent a year ago.
In the early 1990s, border enforcement in San Diego and El Paso, Texas, in the United States became more stringent, and stowaways began to enter illegally through “truck hiding”. By 2001, after the terrorist attacks in the United States, entry had become more difficult. These immigrants had to spend thousands of dollars sneaking into the United States from some of the more dangerous terrain.
In March 2020, Trump closed the border, citing the pandemic, and authorized law enforcement to expeditiously deport illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, the migrants were simply deported back to Mexico without criminal penalties or detention. As a result, many immigrants have made repeated attempts to enter. Of the migrants stopped in May alone, 25% had been stopped at least once in the last year.
The United States has deported more than 2 million immigrants under the Article 42 Border Clause (“Article 42”), which took effect in March 2020.
The measure has sparked controversy over human rights issues. Some argue that the policy has led to a humanitarian catastrophe by causing large numbers of refugees to lose their chances of seeking status. Since the enactment of Article 42, there has been a lot of debate around its survival.
When Biden took office in January 2021, he promised to reverse some of Trump’s tough immigration policies. The Biden administration issued a number of executive orders to relax border policies and also decided to repeal Article 42 on May 23 of that year.
However, on May 20, a federal district court judge in Louisiana ruled that the fast-track immigration deportation order implemented by the United States on the grounds of epidemic prevention continued to take effect, and Biden’s plan was aborted.
The New York Times said on June 28 that the number of illegal immigrants on the southern border of the United States has reached its highest level in decades. The U.S. intercepted nearly 240,000 immigrants in May, a third more than a year earlier. Among them, many followed extremely dangerous routes. At least 650 migrants died while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border last year, according to the International Organization for Migration.
After the June 27 case, Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, put the blame on Biden, saying it was the result of his “open border policy.”
But Biden countered that Republicans were taking advantage of the issue, saying that “political grandstanding around the tragedy is shameful.”
Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorcas
The location of the mass death of illegal immigrants in Texas and the nearby prayer points
There is still a huge gap between the attitudes of the two parties in the United States when it comes to the life and death of immigrants.
Politicians seem to be “lining up” by party. On one side are the Republicans who denounce the Biden administration. For example, Senator Cruz of Texas asked: “How many more people will die before the Democrats care?” Security Minister Alejandro Mayorcas was one of the “culprits” and asked him to resign.
On the other hand, the Democratic Party is not to be outdone: Texas has suffered the deadliest school shootings and immigrant deaths in recent years. Senator Roland Gutierrez of Texas sarcastically said, “This is another example of Abbott’s policy. A case of failure”.
A poll of 1,000 people released by Rasmussen Reports on June 30 shows voters are increasingly concerned about illegal immigration. On this issue, Biden’s reputation is really average. 67% rated Biden’s ability to handle immigration issues as “fair” or “poor.” The poll found that 52% of people think the illegal immigration problem is getting worse, while only 11% think it’s getting better.
Voting in the 2022 U.S. midterm elections will be held on November 8. The poll showed that 73 percent thought immigration would be an “important” topic in the election, with 42 percent saying it was “very important.” By party, 85% of Republicans, 69% of Democrats and 90% of independent voters believe the issue will have some impact on the midterms.
Today, Biden and Democrats are facing their most difficult midterm elections in 48 years. Biden’s public approval rating has remained below 50 percent since last August. Democrats could lose control of at least one chamber of Congress, according to estimates.
At the same time, Biden’s approval rating within the party has also declined. Polls show that only 72% of Democrats currently approve of his performance. That compares to about 85% in August 2021.
To make matters worse, a recent Quinnipiac University poll found that only 26 percent of Latinos approve of Biden’s performance as president, up from 55 percent a year ago.
Overall, the outlook for Biden and the Democrats is not good. The Democratic Party’s political adviser, Douglas Schoen, believes that if the Biden administration fails to come up with practical solutions to crises such as the economy, the epidemic and immigration, the situation for the Democratic Party in the midterm elections will become more dangerous.