Shocking images show the moment Border Patrol agents thwarted a human smuggling operation in Texas, where they found 33 migrants crammed into a U-Haul in near-100-degree heat.
The US Customs and Border Protection agents were alerted about 10 p.m. June 10 to suspicious activity related to a possible human-smuggling scheme near a McDonald’s restaurant in Van Horn, the agency said.
They approached two vehicles, a Dodge Journey and the U-Haul box truck, and discovered “33 people who were close to perishing due to excessive heat and lack of fresh air in temperatures still hovering near 100 degrees.”
Emergency medical technicians embedded in the Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group “immediately began triage operations to determine who needed transport to regional hospitals and who could be treated on-scene,” officials said.
“Over the next few hours 12 patients were transported to regional hospitals while many more were evaluated and treated for symptoms of dehydration on-scene. There were no casualties,” the statement added.
Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean McGoffin said: “Had our heroic agents not been able to free these trapped undocumented migrants, we could have seen 33 miserable deaths in this event.”
He added: “Smugglers do not care what type of misery they put people through as they take their money.”
All of the people recovered from their heat-related injuries and “were processed according to Big Bend Sector protocols,” the CBP said.
“Homeland Security Investigations accepted the case for prosecution,” it added.
In another incident involving migrants in a U-Haul uncovered by agents in the Lone Star State, 27 undocumented people were found inside one during a traffic stop in Laredo on Sunday.
“The temperature inside the cargo compartment was a sweltering 106 degrees Fahrenheit,” CBS said in a statement.
The people, who were from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, were all placed under arrest along with the driver and a passenger, both US citizens, pending further investigation, it said.
“Though human smugglers may try different ways to attempt to avoid detection, our agents remain vigilant and committed to our border security and national security mission,” Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak said.
The two incidents come as President Biden’s administration has come under attack over the illegal immigration crisis across the southern border.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) last week blasted Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for the havoc the crisis was causing in his district.
“Surely the incentives are there for the smugglers to keep trying to get people over here, they make $6,000 to $8,000 per person,” Cuellar said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he slammed the administration for creating “incentives” for illegal migration to the US.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s drugs or people. [Smugglers] make over the years billions of dollars, and we have to understand that if we don’t take this incentive away and address both the push factors and the pull factors, we’re going to keep talking about this year after year,” he said.
Harris, who visited Guatemala and Mexico last week as part of her first foreign visit in office, was dogged for her entire trip by questions about going to surveil the situation at the US-Mexico border in person.