NNIRR’s Statement on the Tragedy at the INM Detention Center in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
El Paso, Texas – The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights expresses its deepest condolences for the families of the 39 migrants who lost their lives, and for the 29 migrants who were injured in a fire at a migrant detention center in Ciudad Juárez on Monday night.
We also use this opportunity to call attention to the dual and unequal nature of the migration regime that enables the mobility of those privileged to own passports and visas while controlling and criminalizing the mobility of primarily people of color, who are escaping poverty, climate, social, and military disasters.
The Instituto Nacional de Migración (National Institute of Migration) of Mexico confirmed there were a total of 68 men from Central and South America in the detention facility, indicating that every person detained was harmed or killed in the fire.
This tragedy, like the many others that have become a normal feature of our immigration and asylum systems, will continue to happen if policymakers are unwilling to transition to rights-centered policies to address international migration. Despite the thousands of documented deaths, disappearances, and systematic human rights abuses, the Biden administration continues to enact policies that restrict access to live-saving protection, including asylum bans and outsourcing asylum responsibilities to other countries. International displacement and survival migration should not be criminalized and people in vulnerable situations should never be detained.
NNIRR stands in solidarity with the families of migrants who have perished, those who were injured, and the thousands of others who have disappeared or lost their lives along their migration journeys. Deterrence policies, militarization, and the criminalization of those internationally displaced cannot continue to be the default response to migration. We urge the Biden administration and governments in the region to address the dual crisis of human rights and humanitarian protection at the border.
NNIRR joins our partners and allies in calling on the administration and congress to save lives and expand the availability of pathways for regular and safe migration, and to take measures that guarantee the full recognition of migrants’ human rights, their dignity, integrity, and well-being, regardless of immigration status.
Cover photo: Reuters