FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 15, 2023
CONTACT: Bilal Askaryar | firstname.lastname@example.org
[WASHINGTON] – In response to the tragic death of Jismary Alejandra Barboza González, a 3-year-old Venezuelan child who was on a bus paid by Texas taxpayers to ship people seeking asylum out of state, Shaina Aber, Executive Director of the Acacia Center for Justice, issued the following statement:
“Imagine crossing rivers and mountains fleeing violence and persecution to find safety for your family, only to be met by cynical politicians who want to ship you away on a bus to make a cheap political point. This inhumane political game has turned deadly with Jismary’s tragic death. We call on the relevant agencies to provide all necessary support to the parents and for further investigation into the circumstances surrounding this child’s death and public transparency and accountability concerning the scope, safeguards, and execution of the Texas busing program.
“We have long heard of the horrendous conditions on these buses – people have been misled, mistreated, and denied their dignity simply for exercising their right to seek safety. Texas must halt all further busing of people seeking asylum until an independent investigation can confirm proper medical screenings are conducted. Busing people seeking protection to their final destinations is not the problem – the conditions on board and the lack of coordination with civil society groups in Texas and in receiving communities are what cause tragedies like this. Coordination must include rapid response services such as comprehensive, linguistically, and culturally appropriate medical care by medical providers and access to attorneys who can inform individuals of their legal rights and what to expect.
As a mother of young children, human rights attorney, and citizen of this country, I call on our leaders and public officials to treat any 3-year-old with care, compassion, and dignity rather than as disposable political props.”