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U.S. Border Policies Led To Deadly Fire In Mexican Detention Center

A deadly fire that killed forty men and injured two dozen at a Mexican detention center in Juarez was the result of shifting U.S. border policies, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune report. The fire, which was one of the deadliest incidents involving immigrants in Mexico’s history, can be traced back to landmark changes by the Trump and Biden administrations that put the bulk of the responsibility on the Mexican government for detaining and deterring immigrants from around the world, despite the fact the country has struggled to keep its own people safe. 

Some say that the tragedy was foreseeable.  U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona, was among many legislators who’d warned Washington, and specifically Biden, said that "the whole system in Mexico is partly a creation in response to initiatives that the United States began. That’s why we should care, because we bear some responsibility.” Grijalva was one of dozens of lawmakers who wrote to Biden in 2023, two months before the fire, that the conditions in Mexico could not "ensure safety for the families seeking refuge in the United States" and urged the administration "to engage quickly and meaningfully with members of Congress to find ways to adequately address migration to our southern border that do not include violating asylum law and our international obligations." Maureen Meyer, a vice president at the Washington Office on Latin America, said, “There’s an enormous human cost to prioritizing enforcement over human wellbeing and safety. The fire is probably one of the most egregious examples of what could happen.”


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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