The Mexican Immigration Service (INM) said 29 people were injured in the fire. The cause of the fire is unclear. According to the authorities, 68 adult men from Central and South America were in the building at the time of the accident. According to media reports, the migrants had been picked up at various border crossings in Ciudad Juárez the day before. They had been taken to the shelter only to be deported later to their home countries.
The fire broke out shortly before midnight and triggered a large-scale operation by rescue workers. A journalist from the AFP news agency observed on site how firefighters and rescuers carried covered bodies to the parking lot in front of the accommodation. There was a high military and police presence around the scene of the fire.
Focus Ciudad Juarez
Ciudad Juárez is a border city in Mexico, directly across from El Paso, Texas. Scores of migrants seeking refuge in the US are stranded in Ciudad Juárez, often because they lack the necessary documents. In addition to migrants from Central America, more and more people from Venezuela, Haiti and Cuba are making their way.
Every year tens of thousands of people from Central America try to flee violence and poverty in their home countries to the USA. In January alone, US authorities arrested more than 128,000 people attempting to enter the US illegally from Mexico. The migrants are repeatedly exposed to enormous risks and dangers. According to a report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 7,661 migrants have died or disappeared en route to the United States since 2014.
US President Joe Biden introduced new entry restrictions for migrants at the border with Mexico in February in order to curb the flow of migrants towards the US border. The Republicans had previously accused him of losing control of the southern border. American asylum law now stipulates that asylum seekers no longer submit their application for asylum in the United States, but in transit countries on the way there or on the Internet. In addition, the USA often resorts to direct deportations with the measures it has taken and imposes a five-year entry ban on rejected people.
kle/hf (afp, dpa, rtr)