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Letter: What we can learn from a death on the Rio Grande


Alan Paredes Salazar, 37, drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande in early September alongside nearly a dozen other migrants whose bodies were found in the river by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Andrew Mahaleris, a spokesman for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, told Newsweek it is not true that deaths have been caused by barriers the state placed in the river.

“These marine barriers help deter illegal river crossings, redirecting migrants to use one of the 29 international bridges on the Texas-Mexico border where they can safely and legally cross,” Mahaleris said. “No one drowns on a bridge.”

Why are asylum seekers not using the bridges? Because they are desperate. They are constantly harassed for more money by police in Mexico, the camps on the Mexican side are very dangerous, and a new rule requiring the asylum seeker must first use a website that is not functional all of the time and must prove they attempted to use it, which is very difficult.

Many of these migrants only want a chance to make a case for asylum in the U.S. We must stop looking at immigration as a crime. Instead this is exactly the same situation as in the 1920s. Upheaval in parts of Europe caused mass immigration. Then and today racism raised its ugly head to limit immigration.

The border is secure. This is not a border crisis but a humanitarian crisis. This country has taken in the poor and downtrodden and was built and is being built on the backs of immigrants.

Asylum seekers are not looking for work but hope. They are not criminals but desperate human beings that deserve our compassion and assistance.

Michael Babb

Source: Berkshire mont

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