7 suspects arrested for migrant smuggling in Texas

TEXAS – Seven suspects of smuggling migrants were arrested on Thursday and 11 migrants were hospitalized after a police operation near Saint Anthonythe authorities reported.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said a total of 26 migrants were found inside a home in South Bexar County. Of them, 11 were taken to a hospital to be treated for conditions related to high temperatures, Salazar said.

Authorities received a tip about a migrant smuggling operation and followed a trailer that was taken to a rural residence. The migrants were crammed for hours inside a false compartment located under the trailer for three hours without water, Salazar explained.

Temperatures in San Antonio hovered around 35 Celsius (about 95 Fahrenheit) Thursday afternoon, with the thermometer expected to top 37.7 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit), according to the National Weather Service.

“We believe that everyone is out of danger, in terms of losing their lives,†Salazar stated.

The nationality of most of the migrants is unknown at this time, but they all appeared to be adults, added Salazar, who believes they were transferred from Laredo, a city on the border with Mexico. One woman told authorities that she was from Guatemala and she had paid $16,000 to be brought to the United States.

“Immigration restrictions”

The incident occurred two days after President Joe Biden unveiled plans to implement significant and immediate restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border, as the White House attempts to neutralize the issue of immigration as a political disadvantage in the face of next November's elections.

San Antonio was the scene of the worst episode of migrant smuggling in the country's history in June 2022, when 53 migrants, including eight children, died after becoming trapped in a semi-trailer that had been driven from Laredo. The vehicle's air conditioning unit was not working. By the time authorities found the truck on a remote San Antonio highway, 48 migrants were already dead and five more died later in hospitals. The migrants who died in that incident were from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.