Immigration authorities have found more than 70 undocumented immigrants inside the back of a truck that was traveling on a highway in Laredo, Texas. The undocumented immigrants were found when authorities decided to stop the truck.
Authorities confirmed that the people found inside the back of the truck are from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The driver was stopped and authorities decided to search the truck after questioning him about his immigration status.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that all the people found inside were in good health. An official of the CBP said in a statement that these criminal groups view these individuals as commodities without any care for their safety. The official added that the disregard for human life will not be tolerated.
Authorities have also confirmed that thirteen of the immigrants were children not accompanied by adults. The driver, a US citizen, was arrested and the immigrants have been taken to safety.
It is not the first time that immigration authorities find a truck with immigrants. In recent years, this dangerous practice has led to the deaths of many immigrants attempting to reach the US. In July 2017, authorities found a truck with many immigrants inside. Eight people were found dead and two others later died at a hospital.
The truck was found parked at a Walmart in San Antonio, Texas. Authorities were contacted by an employee of the store. A survivor that spoke to authorities said that they took turns breathing from a hole on the back of the truck. Emergency services said dozens were severely injured.
The driver told authorities that he was surprised when he went to open the doors. But authorities revealed that he did not contact them after the discovery. The driver also told authorities that he was unaware of what was inside. In October 2017, he pleaded guilty to human smuggling charges.
Fifteen years ago, a similar incident left 19 people dead. Four years later, the driver was sentenced to life in prison without parole. In 2011, he was resentenced to almost 34 years in prison after the court overturned the multiple life sentences. According to reports, he received $5,000 to transport the immigrants for about 120 miles. But during the trip, he was told to take them to Houston, which was 200 miles away from the first area. He abandoned the truck near Victoria and authorities later arrested him in Houston.