Tragedy feels personal at vigil for smuggling victims

Refugee and immigrant advocates hosted a vigil for human smuggling victims in San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO - Refugee and immigrant advocates hosted a vigil for the human smuggling victims in San Antonio on Sunday. 

Hundreds joined the candlelight service in Main Plaza. One woman, Diandra Borrero, got there an hour late.  However, her story shared for the first time felt right on time.

“I just can’t imagine (people) being stuck in (a tractor trailer) dying when they thought they were coming here for a better life,” she said.  “This is really sad.  It shakes me.”

Borrero joined the vigil after seeing news of migrants found dead and hurting inside a tractor trailer outside a San Antonio Walmart because it felt personal.

“We don’t talk about it really, because it’s hard to talk about,” she said.

Nearly 14 years ago, Borrero’s mom lost her fiancé, a Mexican national who immigrated to California.  He worked strawberry fields and was the family’s breadwinner, Borrero said. However, authorities caught him driving without documentation then deported the man. Borrero’s mother then moved to Texas to raise seven kids alone.

“It broke (my siblings),” Borrero said.  “They didn’t have their father growing up.”

Borrero wants a better life for her siblings.  She also wants more for immigrants.  She said her blood boils when she hears about migrants smuggled and abused because she knows pain.

“If we don’t have more compassion for people, especially undocumented immigrants, I think things can get a lot worse, ten times worse that what we just saw,” she said.

 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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