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39 migrants die in Mexico fire outbreak

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Migrants, A 7-year-old boy rescues his baby sister from burning home

At least 39 migrants from Central and South America died after a fire broke out late on Monday at a migrant facility in the Mexican northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, the government’s National Migration Institute (INM) said on Tuesday.

According to an INM statement, there were 68 adult males from Central and South America staying at the facility in the city opposite El Paso, Texas, and 29 of them were wounded in the fire and transferred to four hospitals in the vicinity.

A witness saw bodies lined up in body bags and confirmed that the fire, whose origins are under investigation, had been extinguished. Many of the migrants at the facility were Venezuelan, according to the witness.

The fire, one of the worst to strike the nation in years, came as the U.S. and Mexico are fighting to deal with record amounts of border crossings along their shared boundary.

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Recent weeks have seen a build-up of migrants in Mexican border cities as authorities attempt to process asylum requests using a new US government app known as CBP One.

Many migrants believe the process is taking too long and earlier this month hundreds of largely Venezuelan migrants got into a confrontation with US authorities at the border as their impatience welled up over gaining asylum appointments.

In January, the Biden administration said it would expand Trump-era restrictions to rapidly expel Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian migrants caught illegally crossing the US-Mexico border in an effort to contain the border flows.

At the same time, the US announced that up to 30,000 individuals from those three nations, plus Venezuela, would be allowed to enter the US by plane each month.

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