Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents rescued 27 migrants from a freezing trailer at an immigration checkpoint.
Laredo North Station agents assigned to the Interstate 35 Immigration Checkpoint observed a black tractor hauling a white trailer approaching for inspection on December 11. During an initial interview, the driver gave consent for a non-intrusive scan of the trailer, according to Laredo Sector officials.
The driver moved the rig to the secondary station where the non-intrusive scan revealed the presence of people locked inside the trailer. Agents opened the sealed trailer and found 27 people with no means of escape in the event of a crash or abandonment.
Officials reported the temperature inside the trailer to be 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Border Patrol agents interviewed the migrants and determined all were illegally present in the United States. The 22 men and 5 women came to the U.S. from Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico, officials stated.
The agents conducted a basic medical check on the 27 migrants and found all to be in good health.
After the initial investigation, agents placed the U.S. citizen driver under arrest and took the migrants into custody. The migrants will be processed for immigration violations.
Laredo Sector agents frequently find migrants being locked like cargo in the trailers operated by cartel-connected human smugglers.
While in this case, agents found the migrants locked inside a sub-freezing trailer, opposite conditions exist at other times of the year. In September, agents assigned to this same checkpoint found 53 migrants locked inside a trailer exceeding 100 degrees F., Breitbart Texas reported.
“The harsh conditions smugglers expose them to often lead to severe injury or death. Tragically, too many have died while being smuggled,” Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost tweeted in September.