Among them is a 38-year-old Nicaraguan asylum seeker who described being smuggled in a horrifying manner similar to the recent trucking tragedy that claimed the lives of 53 people, including a number of children. The man, who asked not to be identified by name, “said he and more than 100 other migrants were left ‘suffocated’ in a large container and abandoned by coyotes smuggling them in, NBC News said.
“We had no air,” the claimant said in the report. “Children were crying, women were fainting. Everyone started screaming. We thought they were going to let us out. He said two people died, including a pregnant woman. As the asylum seeker emerged from the container of his life, he said violent conditions in Mexican border towns also posed a threat. “There is so much more danger here” he says in the report.
The Biden administration itself has acknowledged these risks on numerous occasions. In another attempt to end politics last October, Mayorkas recognized violent attacks on asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexicoone initial score from June failed to do. The State Department also warned in internal emails reported by BuzzFeed News that the “heavily armed members of criminal groups” patrolling these border towns pose a threat to the vulnerable.
“The stories of my clients, I mean, they’re raped, they’re kidnapped, they’re robbed, they’re threatened, extorted,” Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services attorney Marysol Castro told NBC News. Levy, who in the past has been targeted by U.S. immigration officials for her advocacy work, told NBC News she hopes the administration does. “everything in its power to implement this decision as soon as possible.”
The policy under the previous administration forced 70,000 asylum seekers—and more than 7,000 asylum seekers under the current administration—wait in dangerous mexican border towns for their US immigration court dates. But the policy has also resulted in a form of family separation. Some parents who had been sent to Mexico were forced to make the heartbreaking decision to send their children back alone across the border.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling last month, advocacy groups that have long fought for an end to the anti-asylum policy have renewed their calls.
“People arriving at the U.S. border seeking asylum deserve access to safety and to be treated with dignity,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organization was among groups that continued the policy soon after it was implemented in January 2019. “The Biden administration must deliver on its promise to end this disastrous policy as soon as possible and bring relief to the tens of thousands of people who have been subjected to it. .”
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