An American politician has rejected Joe Biden’s “deadly” policy after dozens of migrants were found dead in a truck in Texas.
At least 46 people – men and women ranging from teenagers to young adults – have been found dead inside a tractor-trailer in what appears to be a failed migrant smuggling attempt.
The bodies were found Monday (local time) in the 18-wheeler in Texas.
They were found on Quintana Road in San Antonio, with 16 survivors rushed to area hospitals under various conditions. KSAT reported, citing multiple police sources, the New York Post†
Twelve of those were reportedly adults, while four were children.
Three people have been taken into custody in connection with the incident, but it has yet to be determined whether they were “definitely connected to it or not,” SAPD chief William McManus told reporters.
He said officers received the first call about the truck just before 6:00 p.m. from a worker in a nearby building, who said he heard a cry for help and called police.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott wasted no time in getting political, claiming that “these deaths fall on Biden,” adding, “They are the result of his deadly open-border policy” in a tweet on Tuesday.
The Joe Biden administration has introduced a rule amid the pandemic that deprives migrants of the opportunity to apply for asylum. Critics, however, believe the measure has encouraged repeat attempts as there are no legal ramifications for being caught.
Since March 2020, there have been more than two million cases of people crossing the border illegally and being deported.
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San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said that when firefighters arrived, the truck’s door was open and at least one body was outside.
“The patients we saw were warm to the touch,” he said. “They were suffering from heat stroke, exhaustion.”
He added that there were “no signs of water in the vehicle or visible working air conditioning inside”.
First responders who found the bodies in the truck are being advised.
“You’re not supposed to open a truck and see piles of bodies there. None of us come to work to figure that out.”
Local journalists near the crime scene reported seeing yellow tarps near the back of the open truck, as well as a large mass casualty ambulance rushing by and dozens of officers from the San Antonio Police Department, Homeland Security and Border Patrol on the scene.
The tractor-trailer was abandoned in a remote area near railroad tracks and the driver is still at large, according to the New York Times.
According to the Washington Post, the truck was registered to an Alamo man.
However, the man’s son-in-law, Isaac Limon, told the point of sale that the number on the truck had been used fraudulently by smugglers.
He said the truck that matches the registration is a Volvo that was transporting grain in another part of Texas last week.
“It was a perfect setup,” he told the outlet, adding that his father-in-law was shocked by the incident.
“The truck is here. I’m looking at it now. Sad to say, but he’s also a bit of a victim because people think it was him.”
Officers and first responders walked the train tracks with thermal imagers to find possible survivors and the driver, KSAT reported.
A law enforcement source told the San Antonio Express-News there were “probably close to 100 (people) in the truck”, and “about half of them” could be dead.
The dead would all be undocumented migrants who entered the US illegally, according to the Time†
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg described it as a “human tragedy”
“It’s tragic. They had families and were probably trying to find a better life. It is nothing short of a horrific human tragedy,” he said.
“We hope that those responsible for inciting these people into such inhumane conditions are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Officers are investigating how the 46 people died. Temperatures in San Antonio reached a high of 103 degrees amid an ongoing heat wave.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach more than 46 degrees if the outside temperature is only 70 degrees.
The death toll was initially reported at 20 people. The new count makes the tragedy one of the deadliest incidents of migrant smuggling in recent years.
Helicopter footage showed police vehicles, ambulances and fire engines at the scene while it appears that an investigation is underway.
Footage up close to the scene was shared on Twitter by KSAT’s Leigh Waldman, who wrote: “Looking at a potential human smuggling case off Quintana Rd on the south/southeast side.”
A follow-up image shared by the reporter showed a San Antonio Fire Department evacuation ambulance near the semi-truck.
“We’ve spoken to neighbors in the area,” Waldman said in another tweet.
“They are shocked and shocked and tell us that people are coming here for a better life and to work and that this is the reality they are facing.”
Border police officers arrived at the scene on Monday around 8 p.m., which was located along the railway line.
KSAT’s Patty Santos shared a photo on Twitter of first responders “walking along the railroad tracks with thermal imagers looking for people in the nearby woods.”
This article originally appeared on NY Post and is reproduced with permission
Originally published as Migrants Found Dead in the Back of a Truck in Texas
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