Authorities said it was the result of “an alleged human smuggling event.”
On Monday, law enforcement agents in San Antonio, Texas, made a horrific discovery: At least 50 deceased migrants were found inside a semi-truck trailer, the apparent result of sweltering heat that saw the temperature touch 100 degrees during the day.
According to CNN, federal authorities called the situation “an alleged human smuggling event” and were alerted to it by San Antonio police, who were called to the scene after a nearby worker heard cries for help coming from inside the semi-truck trailer. Officers spotted several bodies strewn about the highway behind the truck. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s investigation unit was called to the scene and approached the truck, which had come to a stop on the outskirts of San Antonio and apparently been abandoned.
When authorities opened the trailer, they found the bodies of at least 46 people, believed to be migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. An additional 16 people, including children, were still alive inside the trailer and were taken to nearby hospitals to be treated for heat exhaustion and other ailments. Authorities said Tuesday that in total, 48 people died at the scene and two died in hospitals, per CNN.
The devastating scene is believed to be one of the deadliest singular incidents for migrants in recent years. Ron Nirenberg, the mayor of San Antonio, called it a “horrific human tragedy” while President Biden described it as a “tragic loss of life” that is “horrifying and heartbreaking.”
Republicans, meanwhile, have turned the event into an anti-immigrant talking point. The party that insists you should never politicize a mass shooting because it is a tragedy said the incident was the result of “Joe Biden’s open-border policies.” Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, said, “These deaths are on Biden.” This, despite the fact May saw a record number of arrests on the border in a single month and set a new record for most arrests in a year during Biden’s first year in office.
If the border was as easy to cross as the Republicans claim, you wouldn’t think people would pile into the back of a semi-truck trailer with no air conditioning in the middle of a sweltering hot summer and risk their lives for just the hope of making it into the U.S. But yeah, seems like the border is wide open.