US President Donald Trump’s immigration policy is having increasingly harsh consequences on Mexican border transients. Norberto Santa Cruz, a native of the Mexican town of Ciudad Juárez, was found hanging inside his detention cell in El Paso, Texas a week after being arrested at the border crossing.
Local media reported that he was found still alive and taken to a hospital, where he died.
This is the second case under the Trump administration of a Mexican migrant who has committed suicide after being detained.
Santa Cruz’s death was a surprise to his relatives, according to El Diario de Juárez. People who knew him said they were not aware that he was planning to cross the border illegally. They reported him as a responsible person who had a job. His friends described him as friendly, if solitary.
In February, an immigrant named José Luis Jiménez jumped off a bridge after being turned back by US authorities for the third time. Eyewitnesses said that right before jumping, he screamed in desperation at having to return to Mexico.
There are around 11 undocumented migrants living in the US, and about half of these are believed to be Mexicans
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump pledged to deport more than three million undocumented migrants from the US. Since taking office he has signed orders to increase the powers of border agents and to hire 15,000 new officials. He also wants to build a wall along the border, although Reuters recently revealed that the US government does not currently have the money for such a project.
In other high-profile cases, immigration officials have arrested recipients of a federal protection program introduced by Barack Obama to help the children of illegal immigrants.
There are around 11 million undocumented migrants living in the US, and about half of these are believed to be Mexicans.
English version by Susana Urra.