The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Migrants Die in Overheated Tractor Trailer

Jul 18, 2022

On June 27, at least 53 people from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras roasted to death in an abandoned tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas. About ten people survived the ordeal.

Human smugglers trying to escape capture by border patrol agents had abandoned the tractor-trailer in the sun on a day when the temperature reached about 100 degrees. It had neither air-conditioning nor ventilation, and was only discovered when a worker at a nearby building heard cries for help.

Deaths like this are not rare. On top of the hundreds of people a year who die of exposure, drowning, or thirst while trying to cross the border, just last December, a tractor-trailer with an estimated 200 migrants crashed in Mexico, killing 55 and injuring dozens of others.

It costs between $2,500 and $3,500 to be transported across the U.S. border. The fact that poor people are willing to pay such enormous sums of money and risk death illustrates the desperation this capitalist, imperialist system has inflicted on so much of the world.

The U.S. capitalist class takes advantage of this desperation when people stay in countries like Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, paying super low wages on farms and supplier factories that produce goods to be sold here. But even if they make it to the U.S., working class migrants are still set up to be super-exploited by the same U.S.-based capitalist class, since their illegal status means they must put up with harsh working and living conditions or run the risk of being deported. This super-exploitation on both sides of the border drives down wages for workers everywhere.

In other words, the bosses profit by maintaining the militarized border. It helps them enforce desperation on people on both sides, driving down wages for everyone, and they could care less if it sets the stage for all these people to die.

And none of this benefits the working class of any country. After all, the people who died in this tractor trailer are part of our class. Workers in the U.S., wherever we were born, however we got here, have the same interests as those in the countries to the south: putting an end to this capitalist system that sets us against each other, puts our lives at risk, and exploits all of us.