Story at a glance
- Reports say a Mexican man seeking asylum killed himself on a bridge between Mexico and Texas.
- His asylum petition was reportedly denied, prompting the suicide.
- The Trump administration has worked on restricting the flow of immigrants since 2017.
A migrant from Mexico who was seeking asylum in the U.S. slit his own throat on the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge between Mexico and Texas after being denied entry, according to reports.
The man, who remains unidentified, was confirmed dead by officials at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBPS). The statement noted that he collapsed at 5 p.m. and died on the Mexican side of the border. Reports state that he was in his 30s.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection expresses its deepest sympathies at this tragic loss of life,” The CBPS said in a statement.
In order to qualify for asylum, applicants must prove that they are being persecuted on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political stance, or social practices. Central American immigrants have faced major obstacles when declaring asylum from countries that persecute them. Some statistics estimate that only 0.1 percent of immigrants are granted asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Under President Trump, border security has tightened and many asylum claims have been rejected. A new bilateral agreement could result in Mexicans relocating with other Central American asylum-seekers to Guatemala during legal proceedings, regardless of their nationalities. Many regions in Central American are plagued by gang violence, crime, and murder, and policies forcing migrants into these areas, such as the Migrant Protection Protocols, have been subject to criticism.
According to Stand With Immigrants, the process of immigrating is stressful, and can lead to mental health problems such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, substance abuse, and more.