Op-Ed: The Heartbreaking Loss of Migrant Lives in Texas Tragedy | CNN | Global Refuge

New name, same mission! LIRS is now Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

See Our Evolution

The browser you are using is not supported. Please consider using a modern browser.

Skip Navigation
Start of main content.


Op-Ed: The Heartbreaking Loss of Migrant Lives in Texas Tragedy | CNN

Global Refuge logo

Global Refuge Staff

July 7, 2022

Global Refuge In CNN: The heartbreaking deaths of 53 migrants seeking a better life, and how the US can prevent future tragedies

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah is the president and chief executive of Global Refuge. She previously served as a senior adviser at the State Department and as a policy director in the Obama administration. The views expressed here are her own.

The nation was shocked when 53 migrants were found dead in an abandoned tractor-trailer nearly 150 miles north of the US border with Mexico last week, with more than a dozen survivors, including four children, rushed to nearby hospitals to fight for their lives. It was a grisly, horrifying scene — unimaginable to most Americans, who simply cannot fathom the desperation of those who would embark on such a treacherous journey.

But those who have closely monitored border policy in recent years likely saw the tragedy for what it was: another horrific, preventable loss of life driven by our nation’s failure to establish a humane asylum system or an efficient immigration framework.

When there are no other options, people will take desperate measures to protect their families from the gang violence, persecution, climate disaster and extreme poverty ravaging Central America. And thanks to draconian, misguided policies, there is simply no way to seek asylum in this country — a fundamental human right enshrined in domestic and international law.

Read More on CNN

WATCH: Global Refuge on MSNBC

Krish also joined MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart to discuss the tragedy in Texas, the fatal consequences of deterrence-based immigration policy, and how the US can implement solutions that benefit both Americans and people desperately seeking safety here.

Thumbnail for a video entitled 'MSNBC: Tragic Loss of Migrant Lives in Texas'

The Latest

  • Press Release

    June 18, 2024

    Global Refuge Commends Executive Order Protecting Certain Immigrant Families

    Washington, D.C. – The Biden administration announced today an executive order that will protect certain immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens without status currently living in the United States from being removed from the country.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    June 4, 2024

    Biden administration announces additional asylum restrictions

    The Biden administration announced today a proclamation to further restrict asylum eligibility at the southern border for people who cross between official U.S. ports of entry.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    May 23, 2024

    U.S. Senate renews push for immigration reform

    The United States Senate is poised to vote on immigration legislation this Thursday in an effort to revive reforms previously negotiated by Democratic and Republican senators.

    Read More
  • News

    May 15, 2024

    Empowering our new neighbors on the journey to healing

    Global Refuge supports refugee and immigrant mental health through holistic programming.

    Read More
  • News · Empowering Refugees

    May 14, 2024

    Breaking Barriers to Mental Healthcare

    In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we are spotlighting Margie Hartman LMSW, one of our dedicated clinicians who play a vital role in Global Refuge’s Mental Health Services program.

    Read More