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Dozens of migrants perish in fire at migrant center in Ciudad Juarez

More than three dozen migrants were killed late Monday at a migrant facility near the international bridge that connects Ciudad Juarez to El Paso.

At least 39 people died at an immigration processing center in the city’s downtown. The fire began after some migrants set mattresses on fire to protest what they feared would be their deportation, the Associated Press reported early Tuesday.

Multiple agencies responded to the fire at the facility, and officials began removing bodies wrapped in thermal blankets outside the facility, KTEP reported overnight.

According to Mexican authorities, 68 men, from South and Central America, were being held at the facility. At least 29 were injured and transported to local hospitals, according to the statement. The agency added it was working with the consular authorities from the various countries to identify the migrants killed.

The Mexican city has been dealing with an influx of migrants from South and Central America who make Ciudad Juarez their last stop in Latin America before trying to claim asylum in Mexico. But policies kept in place by the Biden administration, including the continuation of a public health policy known as Title 42 that rapidly expels asylum seekers and returns them to Mexico, have left thousands stranded in Mexico.

Earlier this month hundreds of migrants from Venezuela rushed to the center of the downtown bridge and demanded entry into the United States. The migrants were denied entry and eventually returned to Ciudad Juarez, but the incident highlighted the rising tension between migrants and Mexican authorities.
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Julián Aguilar | The Texas Newsroom