Mass migrant death in tractor trailer highlights ongoing immigration crisis

ABC News contributor, Maria Elena Salinas, reports on the deadly tragedy in San Antonio as part of the ongoing immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
4:08 | 06/29/22

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Transcript for Mass migrant death in tractor trailer highlights ongoing immigration crisis
INCIDENTS OF THIS. >> I CERTAINLY HOPE NOT, MATT GUTMAN, THANK YOU. THE TRAGEDY IN SAN ANTONIO IS PART OF AN ONGOING IMMIGRATION CRISIS AT THE U.S. MEXICO BORDER. ACCORDING TO THE -- AT LEAST 650 MIGRANTS DIED IN 2021. ABC'S CONTRIBUTOR COVERED IMMIGRATION EXTENSIVELY AS A REPORTER. MEDINA, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. GIVEN HOW MUCH WORK YOU'VE DONE ON THIS TOPIC, WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO WHAT HAPPENED IN SAN ANTONIO, BUT ALSO THESE NUMBERS, FROM THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION SAYING 650 PEOPLE DIED CROSSING THE BORDER LAST YEAR? >> THAT'S JUST CROSSING THE BORDER WOULD HAPPEN IN SAN ANTONIO IS A HORRIBLE TRAGEDY. IT'S DEFINITELY THE DEADLIEST IN U.S. HISTORY. IT'S NOT THE FIRST. IT'S AN EXAMPLE OF THE DANGERS THEY FACE ONCE THEY REACH THE BORDER OF THE U.S., IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE. ALSO, THEY'RE ESCAPING POVERTY, THEY'RE ESCAPING BOUNCE IN THEIR HOME COUNTRIES, THEY'RE FACING CALAMITY SUCH AS THE ONE THAT OCCURRED AND SAN ANTONIO. THERE IS A SIMILAR CASE IN TEXAS IN 2017. THEY'RE TEN PEOPLE DIED IN A TRACTOR TRAILER THAT WAS ABANDONED INSIDE A WALMART. THERE WERE 100 MIGRANTS IN THAT TRAILER. THEY WERE HOSPITALIZED. JUST LIKE THAT, THERE'S SO MANY, THERE'S CRACKS EVIDENCE. THERE'S ALSO PEOPLE THAT DIED WHEN THEY'RE IN THE SOUTH OF MEXICO, COMING TO THE BORDER. MANY OF THEM FALL OFF THE TRAIN. KNOWN AS THE BEAST -- WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY OF DIED TRYING TO CROSS THE RIO GRANDE. LAST YEAR, IN SOUTHERN MEXICO, 55 MIGRANTS DIED WHEN A BUS THAT THEY WERE ON CRASHED. SO THERE'S JUST SO MANY. AND THEY FACE EXTORTION FROM CRIMINAL GANGS AND SOMETIMES EVEN LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS IN MEXICO. SOME DIE IN THE DESERT FROM EXTREME HEAT OR INCREASING TEMPERATURES. COUNTLESS OTHERS DIE FALLING FROM THE BORDER WALL. MANY PEOPLE DYING AND, THERE'S SOME THAT REALLY PUT THE BLAME ON U.S. LAWS THAT PREVENT THEM FROM COMING IN ORDERLY, IN AN ORDERLY MANNER -- THERE JUST HAS NOT BEEN ANY IMMIGRATION REFORM IN SO MANY YEARS. >> YESTERDAY THE U.S. BORDER PATROL AGENTS REPORTED FINDING 68 MIGRANTS NEAR TUCSON ARIZONA. 58 OF THEM WERE CHILDREN. HOW BIG IS THIS CRISIS? >> IT'S A BIG CRISIS. IT'S NOT UNCOMMON. WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THEIR VICTIMS. THEY'RE VICTIMS OF THE GOVERNMENTS IN THEIR HOME COUNTRIES THAT HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE OR WILLING TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION OF POVERTY AND VIOLENCE THE DRIVE PEOPLE TO LEAVE. THEN AGAIN THEY'RE VICTIMIZED WHEN THEY'RE TREATED AS INVADERS AND REJECTED IN THE U.S.. AS LONG AS THERE ARE THESE CONDITIONS IN THEIR HOME COUNTRIES, THEY WILL CONTINUE TO TRY TO SEEK A BETTER LIFE. NO MATTER WHAT THE RISKS ARE. WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE DESPERATION THAT THEY MUST FEEL TO MAKE THAT DECISION TO RISK THEIR LIVES, AND THAT OF THEIR CHILDREN, TO LOOK FOR SAFETY. TO LOOK FOR A BETTER LIFE. >> THE SUPREME COURT IS STILL DECIDING ON WHETHER THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CAN AND A TRUMP ERA BORDER POLICY KNOWN AS REMAIN-IN-MEXICO. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THAT POLICY AND WHAT HAPPENS IF IT'S TERMINATED? >> THE REMAIN-IN-MEXICO POLICY, ALSO KNOWN AS MPP MIGRANT PROTECTION PARTICLE HAS BEEN CONTROVERSIAL FROM THE START AS BEEN DEEMED INHUMANE, AND HAS FORCED THOUSANDS TO SET UP MAKESHIFT CAMPS IN UNSANITARY AND DANGEROUS CONDITIONS. THE PANDEMIC MADE IT MORE DIFFICULT. BORDER TOWNS AND MEXICO ARE AMONG THE MOST DANGEROUS IN THE COUNTRY. THE PRESENCE OF CRIMINAL GANGS. MANY BECOME SO DESPERATE WAITING THAT THE RISK CROSSING ILLEGALLY. THE CONSEQUENCES COULD BE TRAGIC. AS WE SAW WITH THE DEATH OF THE 51 MIGRANTS AND SAN ANTONIO. -- SO LIFTING THE REMAINING -- COULD ACTUALLY SAVE LIVES. ALL RIGHT

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