At least 10 people have died and 12 have been injured in an accident involving a pickup truck carrying around 25 immigrants in the US state of Texas, on the border with Mexico, according to local media.
The driver of the car reportedly lost control on Highway 281, south of the town of Falfurrias, Brooks County, 150 kilometers from the border, around 4:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. EDT).
Brooks County Officer Urbino Martinez said the van was overloaded and overturned after hitting a sidewalk. The driver is one of the victims.
As the United States witnesses a migration crisis, the crash adds to a list implicating immigrants. In March, 13 immigrants traveling hidden in a car died when the vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer in California – soon after, authorities accused an American of arranging transport for people to enter illegally in the country.
Weeks later, eight immigrants died in southwest Texas when a pickup truck collided head-on with a pickup truck during a police chase. A man has also been accused of transporting foreigners without permission to be in the country.
President Joe Biden’s administration is under pressure with the most people crossing the Mexican border in 20 years. The number of times border officials apprehended people crossing the border illegally in June was higher for a month since April 2000 – July is expected to be even higher.
To face the crisis, the government announced Monday (2) the maintenance of “Title 42”, a health measure introduced by Donald Trump which provides for the immediate expulsion of immigrants under the justification of the coronavirus pandemic.
In response, the American Civil Liberties Association (ACLU) also announced on Monday a process to force management to end the measure after negotiations reached an impasse.
In a statement, pro-immigrant groups called Title 42 “inhuman” and “illegal” and said the Biden administration left no choice but a legal dispute. “Management chooses to treat refugees like political pawns, so we look forward to going back to court so that we can end Title 42 for Families once and for all,” said Noah Gottschalk, Global Policy Officer at Oxfam America, one of the organizations involved in the process.
In the lawsuit, management responded that blocking the rule now would place a greater burden on the migration system and overcrowding and more dangerous conditions at border settlements. This overcrowding would make it difficult to impose precautionary measures such as social distancing, the administration said, noting that more immigrants have received positive results for the coronavirus, as well as border officials.
David Shahoulian, deputy secretary for border and migration policy at the Department of Homeland Security, said in the process that keeping public health in order is seen as essential given the current conditions. He did not, however, provide information on confirmed cases of the coronavirus among travelers and border officials.
The foster care system is already under pressure from the high number of unaccompanied children arriving in the United States. While the immediate expulsion measure is used against families and adults, only minors are referred to temporary accommodation.
As of Sunday, more than 2,200 children were in the custody of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), more than double the amount recorded a month earlier, according to data compiled by the Reuters news agency.