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Suspected driver of truck with abandoned migrants arrested

Randy Mancini 5 Jun 30
Mourners visit a make-shift memorial at the site where dozens of suspected migrants died in an abandoned tractor-trailer, Thursday, June 30, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Mourners visit a make-shift memorial at the site where dozens of suspected migrants died in an abandoned tractor-trailer, Thursday, June 30, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The suspected driver of the truck carrying dozens of migrants has been arrested alongside his alleged conspirator. The alleged driver was located Wednesday hiding near the area where the abandoned truck was found. This came after two Mexican nationals were arrested for their involvement in the incident that left 53 migrants dead from extreme heat.

If convicted, all four suspects could face life in a federal prison or the death penalty. A San Antonio judge has ordered them to remain in custody while they wait for their preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for Friday. Meanwhile, families back home in Mexico are awaiting news of loved ones who they fear may be among those who died in that tractor trailer.

This comes after dozens of migrants were found trapped in a tractor trailer that tipped over on a highway in San Antonio, Texas with some survivors being transported to area hospitals in varying conditions. The events unfolded on a sweltering day with temperatures reaching 100-degrees outside. Officials said there was no working AC or signs of water in the truck.

President Joe Biden’s policies are under scrutiny following the apparent human smuggling operation. Republicans have called this tragedy another example of the current administration’s open border policies with no deterrence in the US immigration system.

Horrified at the tragic loss of life near San Antonio. This speaks to the desperation of migrants who would put their lives in the hands of callous human smugglers who show no regard for human life. We’ll be working w/ our partners to assist in every way w/ the investigation.

— CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus (@CBPChrisMagnus) June 28, 2022

San Antonio Mayor, Ron Nirenberg lamented at the human toll accumulated by traffickers taking advantage of people in need.

“So I would urge you all to think compassionately and pray for the deceased, the ailing, the families,” he noted. “And we hope that those responsible for putting these people in such inhumane conditions are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The incident is not the first human smuggling tragedy San Antonio has witnessed. Back in 2017, 10 migrants perished while trapped inside a truck at a Walmart parking lot. Additionally, the bodies of 19 migrants were found inside a vehicle during a heat wave back in 2003.

Critics have lambasted Biden’s border policies since he took office. The administration has overseen the largest surge of border violations in more than 20-years by migrants coming in through the southern border. Policies scrutinized under the microscope include his attempted reversal of the Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ and Title 42 policies that sought to keep migrants out of the US for health reasons or while their immigration applications were being processed.

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