By Angelica Salas

The sweltering summer heat and human trafficking are directly responsible for the deaths of 50 people seeking a better life in the U.S.  But Congress and the White House must do more than just send prayers to the victims.

No mincing of words is necessary when the horror is so visible, palpable, and above all, preventable. The migrants inside this tractor-trailer are human beings whose loved ones will succumb to pain and sorrow today as they learn of the tragic, preventable end met by their son, daughter, husband, or wife.  

Immigration laws in the United States are obsolete when they cannot prevent a murderous string that happens silently and consistently at the border.  Even laws that allow for the legal access to protection in the United States have been bastardized by previous Administrations.

Current efforts to revamp and transform immigration laws have been lukewarm and more needs to be done.

Republicans and some Democrats have gotten in the way every time an effort to forge a new pathway to citizenship is introduced. Their hypocrisy and blaming games are also part of the reason why men, women, and children continue to die at the border.

The historical aspiration of seeking a better life for oneself and one’s family should not end asphyxiated inside a semi-truck on a southwest road. As America, we are better than this.

We are humane, compassionate, and reasonable.  These deaths are preventable and we call on Congress and the Biden Administration to act now to prevent them.

Angelica Salas is the executive director of CHIRLA