The United States government has declared that it will grant humanitarian parole to migrants who were injured during a deadly fire at a detention center in Mexico. The blaze, which claimed the lives of 38 individuals, took place last Monday night at a National Institute of Migration (INM) station in Ciudad Juárez. The majority of the victims were from South and Central America, with 28 individuals identified as Guatemalan. The United States’ Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a statement to EFE announcing that it is “prepared to use humanitarian parole (…) to allow seriously injured individuals receive intensive care” in American health centers.
What is humanitarian parole, and how does it work? If a migrant receives a humanitarian permit, they are granted temporary entry into the United States according to the CBP website. This approach is one method that the government has for offering aid to those seeking medical treatment following a tragedy.
This deadly fire has brought into sharp focus the perils that migrants encounter on their journeys to the United States. The US government has expressed deep regret at the tragic loss of life and emphasized the risks that people face in their attempts to reach state territories.
The use of Title 42, a health regulation that permits the expulsion of some migrants at short notice, has put pressure on the border between the US and Mexico. The regulation is expected to be revoked on 11th May, and it has been in place since it was implemented by former President Donald Trump.
Statistics suggest that the last year has been particularly tragic for migrants in Mexico, with nearly 900 people losing their lives in 2022 while trying to cross the border. Civil organizations in Mexico have been highlighting the challenges facing migrants, and this latest tragedy is a stark reminder of the urgent need for greater support.
While images of the impassive agents who detained migrants asking them to open the door have been leaked, compatriots of the victims have demanded that the tragedy “could have been avoided.” As the search for answers continues, the US government’s move to grant humanitarian parole is one step that it hopes will help alleviate the suffering of the victims and their families.