(NewsNation) — The National Sheriff’s Association released images of some of the 856 migrants that have died in 2022 trying to cross into the United States, in an effort to bring a heightened level of awareness to the trials migrants face reaching the U.S.
It has been a record-setting year at the border in the number of both migrants who have died and those who have been encountered or arrested by Border Patrol agents. The record-setting numbers have polarized politicians in Washington D.C., who have made some moves, but have yet to come up with a solution.
Jonathan Thompson, the head of the National Sheriff’s Association, said he hopes the images released of dead migrants can spur Washington into action.
“Those in the desert that didn’t make it, drowned in the river, 856 Poor souls, they were given false hope, they were given the belief that they could get here and that they could survive the trip and the journey,” Thompson said. “And they died miserable, horrific, horrid deaths and this is all something that could have been prevented.”
Thompson defended the decision to release the photos of dead migrants, saying he felt it was the best way to get people’s attention directed toward the border.
Now, a lot of people that may see these may think that this is a pretty gruesome way to tell people the message, but there’s not a sane, reasonable person in this country that can’t look at those pictures and look at those images of the people coming across the border and not say something is wrong, something has got to stop, and something has got to change,” Thompson said.
Thompson believes it falls on President Joe Biden to enact change at the border.
“We need immigrants. We need immigrants to help this country grow, we’ve got to have them and we want them,” Thompson said. “But we need it to follow a legal path, a legal process. Millions and millions of people come to this country, the ‘Shining Hill,’ as everybody calls us. But now that shining hill, I’m sorry to say, is a home for death and destruction for too many people.”