Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers found a large group of migrants locked inside a tractor-trailer near the U.S.-Mexico Border. Smugglers packed the 105 migrants shoulder-to-shoulder.
Texas troopers conducted a traffic stop on a commercial tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 59 near Laredo, Texas, on Monday, according to a Facebook post by DPS officials. During a search of the vehicle, the troopers found 105 migrants.
The photo shows cramped conditions inside the trailer. None of the migrants appear to be wearing masks or other PPE. Social distancing would be impossible and migrants had no means of escape in the event of a crash or abandonment.
The troopers called in DPS Criminal Investigation Division investigators to look into the failed human smuggling attempt before turning the driver over to ICE Homeland Security Investigations special agents.
The apprehension comes amid a Texas law enforcement border security operation initiated in March. Under Operation Lone Star, DPS troopers have arrested thousands of migrants for violations of state laws and referred tens of thousands to Border Patrol.
“The current administration’s complete abandonment of enforcing the laws passed by the United States Congress, concerning immigration, there is an unprecedented increase in people coming across the border,” the Texas governor told the group of sheriffs during a law enforcement briefing in Austin on July 10. “Even though the federal government may have abandoned their responsibility, we have not.”