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From Libya to Texas, tragedies illustrate plight of migrants

Updated : 2019-07-06 14:56:19

They are trapped in squalid detention centers on Libya's front lines. They wash up on the banks of the Rio Grande. They sink without a trace — in the Mediterranean, in the Pacific or in waterways they can't even name. A handful fall out of airplanes' landing gear. As their choices narrow on land and at sea, migrants are often seen as a political headache in the countries they hope to reach and ignored in the countries they flee. Most live in limbo, but recent tragedies have focused attention on the risks they face and the political constraints at the root of them. A record 71 million people were forcibly displaced around the world in 2018, according to a report last month by the UN refugee agency, in places as diverse as Turkey, Uganda, Bangladesh and Peru. Many are still on the move in 2019, or trapped like thousands in detention in Libya, where an airstrike on Tuesday killed at least 44 migrants and refugees locked away in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura.

People attend a demonstration in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, after several nationalist groups called for marches protesting the killing of a German man two weeks earlier, allegedly by migrants from Syria and Iraq. Despite the rhetoric about migration crises in Europe and the US, the top three countries taking in refugees are Turkey, Pakistan and Uganda. Germany comes in a distant fifth. September 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
People attend a demonstration in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, after several nationalist groups called for marches protesting the killing of a German man two weeks earlier, allegedly by migrants from Syria and Iraq. Despite the rhetoric about migration crises in Europe and the US, the top three countries taking in refugees are Turkey, Pakistan and Uganda. Germany comes in a distant fifth. September 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
South Sudanese refugee children look up as a truck pumps water into a reservoir on top of a high water tower, in a section of the sprawling complex of mud-brick houses and tents that makes up the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in northern Uganda, one of the world's largest refugee settlements holding some of those who fled the civil war in South Sudan. June 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
South Sudanese refugee children look up as a truck pumps water into a reservoir on top of a high water tower, in a section of the sprawling complex of mud-brick houses and tents that makes up the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in northern Uganda, one of the world's largest refugee settlements holding some of those who fled the civil war in South Sudan. June 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Picture in Washington shows a portion of a report from government auditors which included images of people penned into overcrowded Border Patrol facilities. The report released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General warns that facilities in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley face
Picture in Washington shows a portion of a report from government auditors which included images of people penned into overcrowded Border Patrol facilities. The report released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General warns that facilities in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley face "serious overcrowding" and require "immediate attention." July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Graffiti depicts drowned 3-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi on the banks of the river Main in Frankfurt, Germany. The boy was found dead in September 2015 after a number of migrants died while boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum. Despite the rhetoric about migration crises in Europe and the US, the top three countries taking in refugees are Turkey, Pakistan and Uganda. Germany comes in a distant fifth. March 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Graffiti depicts drowned 3-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi on the banks of the river Main in Frankfurt, Germany. The boy was found dead in September 2015 after a number of migrants died while boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum. Despite the rhetoric about migration crises in Europe and the US, the top three countries taking in refugees are Turkey, Pakistan and Uganda. Germany comes in a distant fifth. March 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Central American migrants stand on a raft to cross the Suchiate River from Guatemala to Mexico, with the Tacana volcano in the background, near Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. A record 71 million people were forcibly displaced around the world in 2018, according to a report last month by the United Nations refugee agency, in places as diverse as Turkey, Uganda, Bangladesh and Peru. June 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Central American migrants stand on a raft to cross the Suchiate River from Guatemala to Mexico, with the Tacana volcano in the background, near Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. A record 71 million people were forcibly displaced around the world in 2018, according to a report last month by the United Nations refugee agency, in places as diverse as Turkey, Uganda, Bangladesh and Peru. June 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Migrants, most of them from Eritrea, jump into the water from a crowded wooden boat as they are helped by members of an NGO during a rescue operation at the Mediterranean sea, about 13 miles north of Sabratha, Libya. On Friday, July 5, 2019, Libya's interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, pleaded Friday for Europe
Migrants, most of them from Eritrea, jump into the water from a crowded wooden boat as they are helped by members of an NGO during a rescue operation at the Mediterranean sea, about 13 miles north of Sabratha, Libya. On Friday, July 5, 2019, Libya's interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, pleaded Friday for Europe "to address the problem in a radical way _ not to prevent migrants, but to provide jobs and investment in the migrants' places of origin, as well as in southern Libya ... so as to absorb these huge numbers willing and eager to migrate to Europe." Aug. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Picture shows the bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter Valeria lying on the banks of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas. Martinez' wife, Tania told Mexican authorities she watched her husband and child disappear in the strong current. June 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Julia Le Duc)
Picture shows the bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter Valeria lying on the banks of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas. Martinez' wife, Tania told Mexican authorities she watched her husband and child disappear in the strong current. June 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Julia Le Duc)
Migrant women from Syria walk with their children in a refugee camp in Kokkinotrimithia, outside of the capital Nicosia, in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. September 10, 2017 (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Migrant women from Syria walk with their children in a refugee camp in Kokkinotrimithia, outside of the capital Nicosia, in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. September 10, 2017 (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Migrants rest at the port of Algeciras, southern Spain, as they wait to be transported to a police station after being rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar. Jun. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Migrants rest at the port of Algeciras, southern Spain, as they wait to be transported to a police station after being rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar. Jun. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Refugee Siban Assad, 20, from al-Hasaka, Syria, looks out from the window of his shelter while holding his daughters, Ruba, one month, and Maldar, 1, at the Ritsona , Greece, refugee camp, about 86 kilometers (53 miles) north of Athens. Despite the rhetoric about migration crises in Europe and the US, the top three countries taking in refugees are Turkey, Pakistan and Uganda. Germany comes in a distant fifth. Dec. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
Refugee Siban Assad, 20, from al-Hasaka, Syria, looks out from the window of his shelter while holding his daughters, Ruba, one month, and Maldar, 1, at the Ritsona , Greece, refugee camp, about 86 kilometers (53 miles) north of Athens. Despite the rhetoric about migration crises in Europe and the US, the top three countries taking in refugees are Turkey, Pakistan and Uganda. Germany comes in a distant fifth. Dec. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
Women carry plastic containers of water back home from a well, in a section of the sprawling complex of mud-brick houses and tents that makes up the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in northern Uganda, one of the world's largest refugee settlements holding some of those who fled the civil war in South Sudan. June 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Women carry plastic containers of water back home from a well, in a section of the sprawling complex of mud-brick houses and tents that makes up the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in northern Uganda, one of the world's largest refugee settlements holding some of those who fled the civil war in South Sudan. June 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Mohsena Begum, a Rohingya who escaped to Bangladesh from Myanmar, holds her child at the entrance of a room of an unregistered refugee camp in Teknaf, near Cox's Bazar, a southern coastal district about, 296 kilometers (183 miles) south of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Mohsena Begum, a Rohingya who escaped to Bangladesh from Myanmar, holds her child at the entrance of a room of an unregistered refugee camp in Teknaf, near Cox's Bazar, a southern coastal district about, 296 kilometers (183 miles) south of Dhaka, Bangladesh. "They drove us out of our houses, men and women in separate lines, ordering us to keep our hands folded on the back of our heads," says 20-year-old Mohsena Begum, her voice choking as she described what happened to the little village of Caira Fara, which had long been home to hundreds of members of Myanmar's minority Rohingya community. Dec. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Police and forensic investigators stand over the body of 18-year-old Cristian Orellana after he was killed alongside two of his friends after playing soccer in the Chamelecon neighborhood of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Police said the killings are related to a territorial dispute between the gangs Barrio 18 and MS 13, but their families insisted they are workers and not gang members. advocates for the huddled masses on the move say not enough is being done in the migrants' home, transit or destination countries. Only international cooperation can help resolve the agonies, they say _ a tough sell at a time of rising go-it-alone, populist and nationalist sentiment in many places. July 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Police and forensic investigators stand over the body of 18-year-old Cristian Orellana after he was killed alongside two of his friends after playing soccer in the Chamelecon neighborhood of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Police said the killings are related to a territorial dispute between the gangs Barrio 18 and MS 13, but their families insisted they are workers and not gang members. advocates for the huddled masses on the move say not enough is being done in the migrants' home, transit or destination countries. Only international cooperation can help resolve the agonies, they say _ a tough sell at a time of rising go-it-alone, populist and nationalist sentiment in many places. July 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Libyan Red Crescent workers recover migrants bodies after an airstrike at a detention center in Tajoura, east of Tripoli. July 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Hazem Ahmed)
Libyan Red Crescent workers recover migrants bodies after an airstrike at a detention center in Tajoura, east of Tripoli. July 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Hazem Ahmed)
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