TOP on migrant deaths: “It’s an injustice, and a searing indictment of our discriminatory immigration system”

The following statement is from Jessica Azua, Immigration Justice Director with Texas Organizing Project (TOP) in response to the death of 53 migrants found in a sweltering, abandoned semi-truck trailer Monday:

“Immense sadness and frustration do not even begin to describe how I am feeling in reaction to this tragedy. In that semi-truck trailer were fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters – all with hopes and dreams. 

“State and federal lawmakers can point fingers all they want, but the truth is this: Decades of failed, inhumane immigration policies – from Title 42 to Gov. Abbott’s Operation Lone Star – contributed to what is now being recognized as our country’s deadliest human smuggling incident on record. 

“It is these policies, classist and rooted in white supremacy, that radically restrict entry to this country, forcing migrants faced with desperation to take dangerous paths to come to the U.S., all in search of safety and a better life.

“At the absolute least, the Biden administration must grant humanitarian parole for the victims’ families, and provide survivors of this traumatizing event with T visas.

“What occurred is not just a horrifying mass death. It’s an injustice, and a searing indictment of our discriminatory immigration system.”  


Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit

This statement was sent out June 29, 2022.