Border Patrol agents in South Texas rescued 55 migrants locked in a hot trailer. Temperatures reached nearly 100 degrees inside.
Laredo Sector agents assigned to the Interstate 35 immigration checkpoint observed a tractor-trailer approaching for inspection late last week. During an initial interview and inspection, a K-9 agent alerted to the possible presence of human or drug cargo inside the trailer, according to Laredo Sector officials.
The agents referred the truck driver to a secondary inspection station. After unlocking the trailer door, agents discovered 55 illegal immigrants trapped in near-100 degree heat with little airflow, officials stated. The agents said the migrants were sweating profusely.
An emergency medical technician evaluated all 55 migrants and determined they had not yet suffered any ill effects from the heat and lack of airflow. Border Patrol agents took the 55 into custody and processed them for immigration violations. During interviews, the agents learned the migrants came to the U.S. illegally from Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. The group included both men and women.
“The United States Border Patrol not only protects the nation’s borders, but also ensures those who cross into the United States illegally are treated humanely,” Laredo Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens said in a written statement. “We will continue in the disruption and deterrence of any careless tactics utilized by smugglers.”
Agents arrested the driver, a U.S. citizen, and seized the tractor-trailer. He will likely face prosecution for human smuggling.
The 55 illegal immigrants will be processed according to Laredo Sector guidelines and could face prosecution for immigration violations.