FREMONT, OHIO – In response to last night’s news stories, Justice for Migrant Women Founder & President, Mónica Ramírez, issued the following statement:
“Last night, the news of the appalling discovery of the migrants who died while in an uncooled semi-truck in San Antonio broke my heart. In light of the categorization of certain humans as others, let us remember their humanity and their hope for a better future.
Learning of this tragedy, during a heat wave most certainly exacerbated by climate change, four days following the failure of the Supreme Court to protect the constitutional right to an abortion, and just weeks following a series of mass shootings is utterly devastating.
We cannot separate these occurrences from one another because they are inextricably tied to the fact that countless systems in the United States exclude, fail and harm our communities. The systems are intentionally designed to fail migrants, women, and their families.
Like many before them, these community members, including children, packed all their belongings into whatever they could carry and walked into the unknown seeking security and safety. They trusted the people shuttling them into a tractor-trailer like cattle without water more than they trusted the U.S. government to provide a clear path to citizenship. They faced exploitation and ultimately death because there were no safe options.
Those with the power to enact policy must understand that these deaths were a result of the failure of elected leaders to enact policies that allow people to move freely without threats of violence or to their health and safety and the systems that enable people to prioritize profit over humanity.
We will continue to call for policies at the local, state, and federal level that supports the ability of migrant women to live freely without threats to them or their families' physical and mental health. These priorities include ending Title 42 such that immigrants have greater access to safer migration pathways. They include ensuring that upon arrival individuals are not criminalized for seeking safety, economic security, or respite from violence, but rather met with a path to citizenship.
As lawmakers grapple with the constructs of institutional intent; our nation’s guiding principle to be a refuge for the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses must not be disconnected from these stories. And when the sanctity of human life is held up to be most sacred, I hope these lives are also held as sacred and mourned rightfully. Last, but not least, we will continue to honor these community members, as well as to prioritize organizing and mobilizing our communities because it is within these spaces where the most creative, loving, and life-giving solutions exist.”