header icons

Death While Waiting at the Border

A few days ago, we received word that the brother of a current guest of Casa Juan Diego, who had been forced to await his day in a U.S. Court in one of the refugee camps just across the border in Mexico, had been murdered. We don’t know the details yet, but a fellow migrant, also waiting in Mexico while the U.S. government delays and obstructs their asylum application, sent a photo of the brother’s body, I guess as a sort of formal proof-of-death to be shown to anyone that would witness.

The surviving brother was brought over to the office to give us the terrible news. His brother, after following every rule of international and U.S. law for applying for asylum, after having successfully shown a credible fear of persecution and been granted a date for his hearing in immigration court, had been forcibly sent to what is now likely the most dangerous place on earth for migrants: the Mexican side of the U.S./Mexican border.

The administration likes to call this its “Remain in Mexico” policy, but the official name is the “Migrant Protection Protocol.” In Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery”, and” Ignorance is Strength.”  In 2019 America, “Migrant Protection” is sending people who are fleeing for their lives to cities under the control of criminal gangs whose source of income is kidnapping asylum applicants and extorting their families back home.

Houston Catholic Worker