Texas migrant deaths ‘a result of the police state,’ Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico policy,’ MSNBC guest says

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MSNBC host Joy Reid and journalist Maria Hinojosa appeared to blame the Trump administration’s “police state” border policy Wednesday for the reported deaths of dozens of migrants in a tractor-trailer.

On “The ReidOut,” Reid reported on the growing number of deaths attributed to an abandoned tractor-trailer found in Texas Monday evening. Although authorities linked the deaths to ongoing human trafficking issues, Reid quickly suggested that the U.S.’s “hard” immigration policies may be a factor.

“It feels like these are the kinds of tragedies that happen when you make migration so hard that people become so desperate that they are willing to climb into or put their children into the back of an un-air conditioned truck,” Reid said.

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 27: In this aerial view, members of law enforcement investigate a tractor trailer on June 27, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. According to reports, at least 46 people, who are believed migrant workers from Mexico, were found dead in an abandoned tractor trailer. Over a dozen victims were found alive, suffering from heat stroke and taken to local hospitals. 

SAN ANTONIO, TX – JUNE 27: In this aerial view, members of law enforcement investigate a tractor trailer on June 27, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. According to reports, at least 46 people, who are believed migrant workers from Mexico, were found dead in an abandoned tractor trailer. Over a dozen victims were found alive, suffering from heat stroke and taken to local hospitals.  ((Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images))

Hinojosa appeared to downplay the actions of the smugglers, saying the dead migrants are “a result of the police state” at the border.

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“Right now, what you are going to hear is ‘it’s the smuggler’s fault, it’s the smuggler’s fault, it’s the smuggler’s fault.’ You know, I’ve been covering this for several decades now and smugglers have been bringing people over in all of the entirety of the time I’ve been covering this story. You didn’t used to hear these kinds of stories, these kinds of deaths,” she explained.

She elaborated, “This is, in fact, a result of the police state that exists now along the U.S./Mexico border in general. In Texas, people just don’t realize you can’t kind of just get in a car and drive through the state of Texas. The Border Patrol is everywhere. There are checkpoints. And this is what people will resort to. It is horrible. It is just an absolute horrible, horrible death.”

Border Patrol agents have been fired upon in a series of targeted attacks this month, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said.  

Border Patrol agents have been fired upon in a series of targeted attacks this month, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said.   (Getty Images)

Reid also brought up the “Remain in Mexico” policy established by the Trump administration as a factor in the smuggling crisis as well. 

“Right. The whole Remain in Mexico policy, it was created by the Trump administration. So, you are right, the problem is that the Biden administration has not been able to rescind it and now may be forced because of this very strange Supreme Court that we have in power in the United States of America,” Hinojosa said.

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She said the “Remain in Mexico” policy “means that you are taking people and forcing them into a much more vulnerable situation.”

“How much more can we say? That the people who died, for example, these people, the 53 people who died – they were the people that still had dreams about this country. They were the people that still think about the capacity of this country to deliver on these dreams. And yet they are dying because of heat and because of trying to get away from the border patrol,” Hinojosa said.

“And indifference,” Reid added. 

Immigration activists demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Biden v. Texas case. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Immigration activists demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Biden v. Texas case. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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The Supreme Court is set to rule on whether the Biden Administration will be required to enforce the Remain in Mexico policy on Thursday.