June 30, 2022

51 migrants discovered in tractor trailer in Texas #HumanSmuggling #Texas #IllegalMigrants #Homeland

51 migrants discovered in tractor trailer in Texas #HumanSmuggling #Texas #IllegalMigrants #Homeland

51 migrants discovered in tractor trailer in Texas #HumanSmuggling #Texas #IllegalMigrants #HomelandSAN ANTONIO — The tractor-trailer sat on the worn-out asphalt of Quintana Road, a debris-strewn urban hinterland between train tracks and salvage yards. Its rear doors hung loose and open, and for a distance along the baking pavement several bodies lay dead in the roadway.  At first, the truck drew little notice against the backdrop of a Monday afternoon in industrial San Antonio. That was the idea: It was meant to be one leg in a sprawling and mostly hidden smuggling network of cars and trucks, guides and stash houses used to convey thousands upon thousands of people illegally into the United States.  The use of large trucks to pack together and conceal migrants has been on the rise, current and former officials said, a means of maximizing profits for criminal networks and a sign of the increasing desperation of those seeking to enter the country by any means possible.  Along Quintana Road, something had gone wrong. The truck, which had Texas plates, was not moving. And the driver had fled on foot.  Soon, a nearby worker approached, drawn by a cry for help, and discovered the ghastly cargo: at least 62 people, smuggled from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, most of them already dead from the heat. At least 51 would be declared dead by Tuesday in what officials said was among the worst episodes of migrant death in the United States in recent years.  “I have been warning for a year that a tragedy was going to occur because of the increase in truck smuggling,” said Tom Homan, a former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Trump administration. “In California, Arizona, Texas, they have been seeing a lot of tractor-trailers,” he said. “They can pick up eight in a van, 12 in a pickup truck or get at least 80 in a tractor-trailer.”  The largest share of the fatalities in San Antonio were migrants believed to be from Mexico, according to the country’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, who said 22 Mexicans had died along with at least seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans. Others had yet to be identified.