RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services), a local non-profit in San Antonio, TX hosted a candle light vigil on Sunday, July 23rd in memory of recent migrant deaths.
The Vigil took place at San Fernando Cathedral and honored the immigrants who were recently found dead inside a large truck parked in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, as well as others who were also found in that truck and are currently hospitalized. To date, nine people have died and another 30 or so are hospitalized, all of who were found in the same abandoned truck.
Attending the vigil from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word were Sr. Martha Ann Kirk and Sr. Jean Durel. We thank them for their presence to show solidarity with the victims and their families and to denounce the structures that allow senseless deaths like this to occur.
You can read more about the recent migrant deaths in this New York Times article
Here is the statement from RAICES announcing the candle light vigil:
“Early this morning, RAICES heard the news that a truck had been found in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio that contained immigrant men, women, and children. Eight people had died, twenty more are in critical condition, and others had less-severe injuries.
RAICES mourns this tragic loss of life. We hope and pray for the survivors to recover quickly and find peace, safety, and justice. This heartbreaking situation highlights the lengths that migrants will go to seek refuge in the United States. We value, honor, and respect migrant lives.
RAICES also condemns the actions of the San Antonio Police Department who called ICE to respond. Instead of offering a humanitarian response, SAPD called an enforcement agency with its own track record of causing migrant deaths and criminalizing, detaining, and deporting vulnerable populations. We resist all attempts to dehumanize the survivors of this tragedy. RAICES offers our legal services to all of the survivors as they seek justice and protect themselves against all attempts to criminalize, detain and deport them. This morning’s events are a harsh reminder that the language of “border security,” “national security,” and collaboration between local police and ICE does not make us safer or more secure.
RAICES will host a candlelight vigil for migrant deaths at San Fernando Cathedral this evening to honor those that died this morning, pray for the survivors in hospitals throughout San Antonio, and remember all other migrants who have risked their lives to seek a new life in the United States.
WHAT: Vigil for Migrant Deaths
WHERE San Fernando Cathedral, 115 Main Plaza, San Antonio, TX
WHEN: Sunday, July 23rd at 6pm CST