Monday, September 26, 2022

San Antonio trailer deaths latest: Biden mourns migrants as toll rises to 51

At least 46 bodies found in trailer, San Antonio officials say

At least 51 people were discovered dead, “stacked” inside a truck’s tractor-trailer near San Antonio, Texas, in what authorities believe may be the the deadliest human-trafficking incident in modern US history.

Another 16 people, including four children, were taken to local hospitals in varying conditions, according to officials. Police have taken three people into custody. The US Department of Homeland Security is investigating.

A city worker heard a cry for help from the abandoned truck before discovering the gruesome scene on Monday, according to San Antonio police chief William McManus.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden called the “tragic loss of life” in Texas “horrifying and heartbreaking” while San Antonio’s mayor Ron Nirenberg called it a “horrific human tragedy”.

Mexico foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed that the nationalities of some of the victims who died inside the triple-digit-degree truck had been identified. The victims include 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans.

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Bexar County Sheriff writes to President Biden

Bexar County sheriff Javier Salazar has written a letter to president Joe Biden requesting for a meeting and more resources to deal with the humanitarian crisis after Monday’s migrant tragedy.

In his letter, obtained by KSAT, Mr Salazar wrote: “I am reaching out to you for a third time and requesting assistance. As a first responder, we are trained to remove emotions from our decisions and actions, to the extent possible. With that being said, as I write this, over 50 likely undocumented immigrants are dead in my county with several others hospitalized, due to the actions of those who would profit off of the misery of smuggling victims. Among those hospitalized are children who most likely had no say in wherethey are, how they got here, or what they witnessed as those around them died a horrible death.”

Requesting for a meeting Mr Salazar said: “I’m asking for you to meet with myself and other Urban County Texas Sheriffs so that together we can address these issues at hand. Not as the enemy invasion it has been portrayed as, but as the humanitarian crisis it truly is.”

He also said that he was “disappointed that a perceived lack of action on the part of the US government has allowed the governor of my state to use this issue as one big campaign stunt.”

“I have watched as Governor Greg Abbott has painted this humanitarian crisis as some sort of enemy invasion,” he added.

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(PA)

Sravasti Dasgupta29 June 2022 09:30

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San Antonio survivor worried about missing brother

One of the 16 survivors of the San Antonio tragedy is recovering well but is in search of her missing brother, authorities said on Tuesday.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Bexar County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores said that she had spoken with the survivor who is a young woman from Guatemala, reported KSAT.

“She was intubated earlier, and it was taken out, and she was able to talk,” Ms Clay-Flores said.

“Sadly, I also asked her if she was traveling alone or not. She was traveling with her brother. We don’t have information on her brother. She obviously wants to find out about that,” she added.

Migrant Deaths

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(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Sravasti Dasgupta29 June 2022 08:30

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Senator John Cornyn, Congressman Marc Veasey on likelihood of a bipartisan immigration bill

After the migrant deaths in San Antonio, Democrat Rep. Marc Veasey and Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn were asked by CBS News if the two parties could cooperate on a bipartisan immigration bill on the lines of the gun control law in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting in May.

“We’ve tried before, and I’m going to keep trying. Unfortunately, the Biden administration seems to be completely paralyzed by its base, which doesn’t believe in any kind of border controls, and that’s been the problem. Maybe this will shock the conscience to the point it will actually prompt some action,” Senator Cornyn said.

“If the Republicans and Mitch McConnell will cooperate with the majority leader, then I guarantee you that we can get something to Biden’s desk, and I guarantee that the American people will like that system a lot better than the human smuggling system,” Mr Veasey was quoted as saying.

San Antonio Migrant Deaths

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San Antonio Migrant Deaths

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Sravasti Dasgupta29 June 2022 07:30

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Slow effort to identify San Antonio victims

Efforts to identify victims of the San Antonio migrant tragedy have been hit as many did not have any identification at all or in one case had a stolen ID, reported Associated Press.

Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores, who represents the district where the truck was abandoned said on Tuesday afternoon that 34 of the victims had been identified.

“It’s a tedious, tedious, sad, difficult process,” she said.

Authorities said that remote villages lack phone service to reach family members and determine the whereabouts of missing migrants.

Fingerprint data has to be shared and matched by different governments.

San Antonio migrant deaths lead to slow effort to ID victims

Bodies without identification documents, remote villages without phone service, the need to share fingerprint data across borders and even stolen IDs are complicating efforts to identify the 51 dead migrants found in San Antonio as families from Mexico to Honduras worry their loved ones could be among them

Sravasti DasguptaJune 29, 2022 07:00

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Mexican woman wrongly named as San Antonio victim

Haneydi Jazmin Antonio Guzmán, a young woman from Chiapas in Mexico has said that her name has wrongly been included in the list of survivors of the San Antonio truck tragedy.

In a Facebook post she said that her identity card had been stolen a year ago and informed her friends and family that she is fine.

Her mother Silvia Guzmán Aguirre, announced to the media, through a WhatsApp audio note, that her daughter’s ID was stolen when she traveled to Tapachula last year, reported The Universal.

Though authorities had been informed about the stolen ID, the family was later informed that it had been sold to another person to be able to go to the US.

A woman who was wrongly named as one of the survivors of the San Antonia trailer tragedy has said that she is ‘fine’ and that her ID was stolen last year

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A woman who was wrongly named as one of the survivors of the San Antonia trailer tragedy has said that she is ‘fine’ and that her ID was stolen last year

(Hänëy Guzmán / Facebook)

Sravasti Dasgupta29 June 2022 06:30

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Migrant crossings at the Southwest border

According to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in May, 239,416 people had been encountered at the Southwest border, and 25 per cent had crossed more than once.

Of this, 42 per cent crossings were processed under under Title 42, that went into effect during the coronavirus pandemic, which turns most migrants back to Mexico.

Encounters of unaccompanied children along the southwest land border increased 21 per cent, with 14,699 encounters in May compared with 12,180 in April.

Counts of family unit individuals along the southwest land border increased by 8 percent from 55,092 in April to 59,282 in May.

CBP had also said then that there has been a higher-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts due to large number of deportations during the pandemic.

Migrant Deaths

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(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Sravasti Dasgupta29 June 2022 06:30

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Biden to meet Mexico’s president next month

President Joe Biden will meet Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on July 12 at the White House.

The White House said on Tuesday that the two leaders will discuss issues such as food security, immigration, climate and security and shared economic interests.

The announcement comes just a day after 51 migrants being smuggled into the US died after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas.

Mr Obrador had recently skipped the Summit of the Americas in protest against the US not inviting Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the event.

Germany G7 Biden

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(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Sravasti Dasgupta29 June 2022 06:00

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Mexico foreign minister dials Guatemalan counterpart

Mexico foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard has said that he spoke with his Guatemalan counterpart to aid victims of San Antonio.

In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Mr Ebrard said: “In communication with Mario Búcaro, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala.”

“We will act together in support of victims and families affected by the tragedy in San Antonio, Texas. We share deep sorrow for what happened. Ongoing investigations to find those responsible.”

Mexican authorities are also coordinating with US officials to identify victims of the tragedy.

Sravasti Dasgupta29 June 2022 05:30

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Officials condemn Texas governor for attacks on Biden for migrant deaths

Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores condemned Texas Governor Greg Abbott after the Republican blamed the deaths of 51 migrants on President Biden’s “deadly open border policies.”

“While bodies were still being removed, and others being taken to local hospitals, he chose to be heartless and point the finger. Shame on our governor,” she said.

The governor’s remarks are “also a complete contradiction to state that this tragedy was due to open border policies,” she said. “

“If there was such a policy as open borders, we wouldn’t have had over 50 human lives trying to enter this country the way they did,” she said. “We wouldn’t be mourning the deaths of so many people who were simply seeking a better life.”

As noted by The New York Timesthe governor did not blame other migrant deaths – including the deaths of 10 men inside a tractor-trailer in 2017, nor the deaths of six people after an SUV crashed in south Texas following a police chase in 2019 – on the Trump administration.

“Exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful, as is political grandstanding around tragedy,” Mr. Biden said said in a statement on Tuesday. “My administration will continue to do everything possible to stop human smugglers and traffickers from taking advantage of people who are seeking to enter the United States between ports of entry.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday that “the fact of the matter is the border is closed, which is in part why you see people trying to make this dangerous journey using smuggling networks.”

Alex WoodwardJune 29, 2022 05:00

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Death toll includes five children

The death toll for what authorities believe is the deadliest human-trafficking incident in modern US history includes 39 men, 12 women and five children, according to News4SanAntonio.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard reported that the death toll includes 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans.

One man from Guatemala confirmed the death of his two daughters, ​​Griselda and Carla, whose ages were not disclosed.

Alex Woodward29 June 2022 04:00

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