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A Border Patrol agent speaks to migrants detained after crossing the border to the U.S. on May 17, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. Credit: (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The Border and the Election

What does a fire at a detention center in Mexico tell us about the U.S. immigration system? Join us to discuss landmark policy shifts under Biden and Trump that precipitated the deadly fire and how immigration is shaping the presidential election.

In partnership with The Texas Tribune.

One year ago, 40 men were killed in a detention center fire in Ciudad Juárez in one of the deadliest incidents involving immigrants in Mexico’s history. Those killed had come from across Latin America, and their bodies — laid at first in a parking lot outside the facility — were a graphic representation of the violence and economic upheaval raging throughout the region.

But the fire was also a foreseeable result of landmark shifts in U.S. immigration policy, through which the Trump and Biden administrations outsourced immigration enforcement to Mexico, according to a new examination by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. The investigation, accompanied by a short documentary, unpacks the deadly consequences of policies such as Title 42, an emergency health code used by President Donald Trump to slow immigration and then continued under President Joe Biden as criticisms mounted over the record numbers of migrants arriving daily.

At this event in partnership with The Texas Tribune, reporter Perla Trevizo will outline some of the warning signs leading up to the Juárez fire. A panel of experts will discuss the politics behind the policies that gave rise to the fire, the unprecedented changes those policies have made in the U.S. asylum system and why immigration has become a leading concern among voters as they prepare for this year’s presidential election. Please join us at this launch event for a series focused on immigration. You can read and follow ProPublica’s coverage of this issue here.

Our speakers include:

  • Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute
  • Maureen Meyer, vice president for programs at the Washington Office on Latin America
  • Victor Manjarrez, director of the Center for Law and Human Behavior at the University of Texas at El Paso and a former chief patrol agent for the U.S. Border Patrol
  • Perla Trevizo, reporter for the ProPublica-Texas Tribune investigative unit (moderator)

This event has ended.