New name, same mission! LIRS is becoming 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

    February 23, 2024

    Global Refuge alarmed by Biden administration consideration of new asylum ban

    The Biden administration is considering executive action to further restrict asylum eligibility at the southern border for people who cross between official ports of entry.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    February 15, 2024

    HHS: Refugees & Asylees Generate $123.8 Billion Net Fiscal Benefit

    "This study demonstrates that refugee resettlement is firmly within our national interest, both in terms of maintaining our global humanitarian leadership and bolstering federal, state, and local resources."

    Read More
  • Press Release

    February 15, 2024

    White House Designates Deferred Enforced Departure for Palestinians

    "The DED designation offers much-needed support and protection to Palestinians living in our country at a time when their homeland is going through so much tumult. The ongoing conflict makes returning unsafe for the foreseeable future, so this decision demonstrates the Biden administration’s commitment to our nation being a global humanitarian leader during times of crisis.”

    Read More
  • Press Release

    February 4, 2024

    Senators announce bipartisan immigration legislation

    Global Refuge responds to bipartisan legislation concerning immigration policy, which has been tied to an emergency supplemental foreign assistance bill.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    January 29, 2024

    Global Refuge responds to President Biden statement on immigration negotiations

    Global Refuge is deeply troubled by President Biden’s statement on bipartisan senate negotiations concerning immigration policy, touting “a new emergency authority to shut down the border."

    Read More