EL PASO, Texas – El Paso County Commissioner and Texas Border Coalition Chairman David Stout today issued the following statement mourning the heartbreaking loss of life after a fire broke out Monday at a migrant detention center in the Mexico border town of Ciudad Juarez:
“This is a tragedy that should never have happened. Our lack of sufficient legal pathways and inability to efficiently manage the pathways we have leads to the desperation we are seeing among migrants.
“We can alleviate the conditions that lead to migrant deaths – not only with this tragedy but the thousands of people who have died in our deserts – or we can make them worse.
“So far, the failure to address the social and economic realities of migration and the emphasis on border security to the exclusion of systemic reforms or even more targeted policies is making them worse.”
“The Texas Border Coalition has advocated for years that the most important factors for improving border security are to adopt reforms that would provide legal avenues for workers to enter the U.S. when needed, allowing border officials to focus more resources on criminal and terrorist threats.
“As a foundation for comprehensive immigration reform, we continue to advocate for passage of the bipartisan Dream Act to provide legal status for undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children; the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would stabilize the agricultural workforce, of which at least half is undocumented; the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act , which would assign unused visas for up to 15,000 immigrant physicians and 25,000 nurses, helping alleviate healthcare provider shortages made worse during COVID-19; and legislation to recapture unissued Green Cards and reallocate them for current use.”
“It is also essential that Congress continue to fund the Emergency Food and Shelter program to assure that local governments and non-governmental organizations can carry on programs to address the needs of migrants entering the U.S.”
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About the Texas Border Coalition (TBC)
The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) is a collective voice of border mayors, county judges, economic development commissions focused on issues that affect 2.8 million people along the Texas-Mexico border region and economically disadvantaged counties from El Paso to Brownsville. TBC is working closely with the state and federal government to educate, advocate, and secure funding for transportation, immigration and border security, workforce development, economic development and health care. For more information, visit the coalition website at www.texasbordercoalition.org. Follow TBC on Facebook and Twitter [#TXBorderCoalition] to keep up to date on all of the latest news about the coalition and its activities.