A 44-year-old man from Mexico killed himself moments after being deported, local authorities reported.
Guadalupe Olivas Valencia had been expelled from the United States around 8:20 a.m. on Tuesday, then, shortly after, he “threw himself from a bridge” off the border, local security official Marco Antonio Sotomayor said. At 9 a.m., emergency services arrived at the scene, taking the man to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
He was found beneath the bridge along with a plastic bag he had obtained prior to taking the plunge. The bag was provided by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).
The deceased was originally from the state of Sinaloa in northwest Mexico, a region deeply hit by the violence stemming from the ongoing drug war. This was the third time U.S. officials had deported him, and according to a friend, he had allegedly expressed anxiety over being sent to a city where “he knew nobody.”
This death coincides with the President Donald Trump administration’s new directive. Under Trump’s new plan, the deportation of immigrants captured at U.S. borders will be expedited, forcing more people out of the country than former administrations.
The directive also calls for a reinstatement of a program known as Secure Communities, empowering state and local police to help federal agents identify and deport undocumented immigrants with criminal records.
While the new directive gives immigration and customs officials the power to question most immigrants they encounter, migrants who classify as “Dreamers” are being currently shielded from the extra scrutiny.
Under the new guidelines, most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country could be at risk of being captured. This is due to the fact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue to look for undocumented persons who have been charged or convicted of a crime, as well as others who are simply suspects, and who were never formally charged.
As we can see with Valencia’s story, many migrants flee violence and brutality stemming from policies enforced both in the U.S. and Mexico. Instead of helping individuals who are willing to work hard to have a better life in America, we’re continuously sending them back to a place with few, if any, opportunities for growth.
Isn’t it time we press Washington to allow states to set their own immigration policies, allowing for more diversity and compassion to set the standards?
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Joshua Lott