Documentary Missing in Brooks County Impacts Newly Passed Legislation to Aid Migrant Rescue and Recovery Efforts

Wrapping up the year on December 31, 2020 (when not inciting riots via Twitter), President Trump signed into law the bipartisan Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act, which provides funding to state and local governments, medical offices, humanitarian organizations, and forensics labs, that respond to migrant deaths on a daily basis. With the goal of bolstering humanitarian efforts and bringing closure to families having lost loved ones in the borderlands crisis, this rare bipartisan legislation was co-sponsored by Texas Senator John Cornyn (R) and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. It passed the US Senate with unanimous consent in November 2020 and was signed into law on New Year’s Eve. In addition to providing government, humanitarian and technical support, the Act mandates the US Justice Department, US Customs and Border Protection Agency, and US Government Accountability Office submit annual reports together with their underlying data of the total number of migrant lives lost in these borderlands and assessments of government efforts in order to identify and resolve the cases of the missing and dead. Further, 200 new rescue beacons and help stations will be implemented along our southwestern borders.

The documentary film Missing in Brooks County, on which RPJ colleagues Heidi Reavis and Michelle Lamardo provided legal services and Heidi was an executive producer, helped promote the newly passed legislation.

Congratulations to the Missing in Brooks County producers and our very own RPJ team on this great news!

To learn more about the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act, click here and to learn more about Missing in Brooks County, click here.