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Statement of Solidarity with the families of the deceased and survivors of the fire in Ciudad Juárez

On Monday, March 27, at least 39 people died and dozens were seriously injured in a fire at an immigration detention center in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, meters from the border with the United States. Most of the deceased are indigenous brothers from Guatemala. People from El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Venezuela were also victims.

As a community of immigrant women, who have traversed these same paths, we feel much pain and outrage. We send our condolences, our strength and solidarity to the families of the deceased and to the survivors. We deeply regret the loss of your family members.

This devastating tragedy was completely preventable. It is a direct result of the racist and inhumane policies of the United States and Mexico that criminalize migration, imprison people seeking asylum, deny safe entry, and return people to very dangerous conditions, as seen in the detention center.

We demand justice for the dead and injured migrants, and help for bereaved family members who are waiting to at least receive the bodies of their loved ones, who should still be alive.

We condemn the United States government for its immigration policies and its imposition of inhumane measures on Mexico and other countries, which results in more forced migration, danger along the route, and the deaths of thousands of migrants at the border each year.

We demand that the Biden Administration put an end to its new proposed asylum ban. This policy would deny the right of asylum to people who arrive at the southern border, after crossing other countries. It would require people to have applied for and been denied asylum in other countries. Under this policy, the government would require people to make an appointment on a border patrol phone app, called CBP One. However, we see that this application is not working, it increases racial discrimination and has triggered further family separation. Nor does it take into account that many migrants do not have access to cell phones. Therefore, the impact is the same, denying the human right to seek asylum and exposing migrants to more kidnappings, extortion, rape, human trafficking and murder.

We also demand an end to the plans of increasing family detentions that have caused so much trauma and injustice, and expedited deportations that violate the due process right to plead one’s case before a judge. We demand a stop to the militarization of borders and the criminalization of migration. We demand an end to immigration detention in the United States and Mexico. We stand in solidarity with migrants detained in inhumane conditions, who in two detention centers in California are demanding their freedom with a hunger strike.

We condemn the Mexican government for continuing to militarize the country, especially the southern and northern borders, with the national guard implementing immigration policies. They perpetuate inhumane conditions in detention centers, putting migrants in further danger. People detained during the fire had been asking to be released. They were without water, without food, overcrowded, with a lack of medical attention, incommunicated, and without due legal process. The guards turned their backs on the migrants detained during the fire, when they could have opened the doors to save their lives. No one should have to die to be heard.

We demand that the Mexican government ensure the life and respect for human rights of all migrants who cross the country.

We condemn the governments of our countries that do not respect the human rights of indigenous peoples and black communities, do not create opportunities for a dignified life, do not respond to the urgent needs of the population, or protect their lives from violence.

We demand that the governments of our countries work to truly improve people’s conditions so that we are not forced to risk our lives to survive.

We continue to fight for the right to asylum to be respected, and for a fair, safe, and humane immigration system that provides refuge to those who need it. We fight for the right to live in peace and with dignity, here and in our countries. We fight so that this never happens again and to always uphold solidarity.


To support the families of the deceased and survivors, you can donate so they have access to legal help, medical care and other humanitarian services.

(Administered by Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, Dioscean Migrant and Refugee Services, and Hope Border Institute.)



Jenni Martinez

Communications Coordinator at MUA

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