News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

texas lorry.JPG banner.JPG
texas lorry.JPG
USA News

'Stop politicizing immigration' say Christian refugee charities after 46 dead migrants found in Texas lorry

by Tola Mbakwe

UK refugee campaigners have called for an end to the politicisation of immigration systems worldwide, saying it leads to more issues.

Dr Krish Kandiah, founder of Sanctuary Foundation called a dangerous practice which is evident with the UK government's Rwanda plan.

“That's not a great way of treating people,” he said.  “It's not financially viable. It's not practically doable, but it's a political football. And in the same way, in the US, asylum has become a politicized issue.”

“Under the Trump administration, children were being separated from their parents at the border as a way of deterring people from crossing America's southern border. And now that's been relaxed, people are blaming the Biden administration for welcoming refugees. We can't allow the tragedy, that means people have to flee their homes for war, and terror and famine… to become a political football, there are human lives at stake.

“We need to have a grown up bipartisan conversation about what we're going to do in order to keep people safe.”

Dr Kandiah commented in response to a suspected migrant crossing tragedy in Texas on Monday. The bodies of 46 dead migrants were discovered inside a lorry in San Antonio. The city’s officials said it was one of the most deadly recent incidents of human smuggling along the US-Mexico border.

A San Antonio Fire Department official said they found "stacks of bodies" and no signs of water in the truck, which was found next to railroad tracks in a remote area on the city's southern outskirts.

Sixteen other people found inside the trailer were transported to hospitals for heat stroke and exhaustion, including four minors, but no children were among the dead, the department said.

"The patients that we saw were hot to the touch, they were suffering from heat stroke, exhaustion," San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told a news conference. "It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer but there was no visible working A/C unit on that rig."

Temperatures in San Antonio, which is about 160 miles (250 km) from the Mexican border, swelled to a high of 39.4 degrees Celsius on Monday with high humidity.

The city's Police Chief William McManus said a person who works in a nearby building heard a cry for help and came out to investigate. The worker found the trailer doors partially opened and looked inside and found a number of dead bodies.

McManus said this was the largest incident of its kind in the city and said three people were in custody following the incident, though their involvement is not yet clear.

The Texas state governor Gregg Abott quickly criticised Joe Biden's immigration policy, calling it a deadly human trafficking incident.

It’s a move Neil Jameson, director of UK Welcoming Refugees, believed was the wrong one to make.

“It poses a pattern here, where poor people want to get into rich people's area, so they can make some money to feed their children and so on,” he said.

 “And the ridiculous immediate response from the governor of Texas, which was to immediately blame the president for letting people in is ridiculous because this has been going on for centuries.”

“It's more than a tragedy. It's a reflection of the uncertainty and the unequal nature of the world. And frankly, the Texas governor should have been more careful in his blaming the president.”

The deaths once again highlight the challenge of controlling migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, which have reached record highs.

The issue has proven difficult for U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat who came into office in January 2021 pledging to reverse some of the hardline immigration policies of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump. Republicans have criticized Biden's border strategy ahead of the midterm congressional elections in November.

Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard called the suffocation of the migrants in the truck the "tragedy in Texas" on Twitter and said consular officials would go to the hospitals where victims had been taken to help "however possible."

Dr Kandiah urged for Christians to not become desensitized by tragedies like this. He the Church should speak up for the rights and needs of vulnerable people and also find practical ways to help peple seeing asylum.

“But I think the first thing we've got to do is to pray and we pray for our God to have his way hat people will be protected that justice will prevail that our society will become more hospitable,” he said.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email