People are dying because of United States immigration policy.
Over the weekend, the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff uncovered the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz, a Honduran man who died by suicide less than a day after being separated from his wife and 3-year-old child by Border Patrol agents. Earlier in the week, Des Moines Register columnist Rekha Basu brought news of the death of Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco, a former Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient who’d been escorted back to Mexico after being stripped of his deportation protections by the Trump administration. Pacheco, who would have graduated from high school this month, instead had his throat slit in Mexico three weeks after returning to the country he’d left as a child.
These deaths were avoidable. They would not have happened if different policy choices had been made. But the Trump administration has made its choices, and the consequences should be known.
Marco Antonio Muñoz: the father who died after being split from his son
The Muñoz family crossed into the US on May 12. By the morning of May 13, as the Post reported, Marco Antonio Muñoz was found dead in his cell:
Soon after Muñoz and his family were taken into custody, they arrived at a processing station in nearby McAllen and said they wanted to apply for asylum. Border Patrol agents told the family they would be separated. That’s when Muñoz “lost it,” according to one agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the incident.
“The guy lost his s—,” the agent said. “They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.”
Under any previous administration — or even in the first months of this administration — a family with a 3-year-old child, presenting themselves to a Border Patrol officer and requesting asylum, would not have been considered a priority for detention. Most likely, they would have been interviewed to determine if their fear of returning to Honduras was credible, and then released (perhaps with an ankle bracelet) while their asylum cases were pending before a judge.
By Dara Lind for VOX
Read Full Article HERE