The depraved practice of human trafficking claimed ten citizens, hospitalizing another twenty for heatstroke and dehydration, in San Antonio, Texas. The victims were Mexican and Guatemalan, found packed into a tractor trailer without water, air conditioning or fresh air, their skin hot to the touch, and left in a WalMart parking lot.
The driver, James M. Bradley, Jr. of Florida now sits in federal jail for his alleged role in what has been described by San Antonio Chief of Police William McManus as a “horrific tragedy.” Bradley told investigators he was only transporting a sold trailer from Iowa to Brownsville, Texas, having no idea of the contents until out of curiosity, opened the trailer door, and was “surprised when he was run over by ‘Spanish’ people and knocked to the ground.”
There are conflicting accounts of whether the trailer remained unlocked to allow people access to water to find relief from the heat. And even if it was, illegals could fear exposure and stay inside to avoid ICE. But witness accounts say they banged on the walls, trying to attract the driver’s attention, and took turns breathing air through a tiny hole:
Experts estimate the temperature inside the closed-in trailer could have reached dangerous levels; at just 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a closed vehicle can reach 115 degrees in a half hour, according to the National Weather Service. San Antonio reached Saturday’s high of 100 degrees at 6 p.m.
Thomas Homan, Acting Director of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) believes that several illegals have evaded officials (they are the lucky ones) and fled to places unknown, and, as of yet, untracked although the surrounding areas have been searched thoroughly for possible survivors:
Based on initial interviews with survivors of the San Antonio tragedy, more than 100 people may have been packed into the back of the 18-wheeler at one point in its journey, ICE acting Director Thomas Homan said. Officials said 39 people were inside when rescuers arrived, and the rest were believed to have escaped or hitched rides to their next destination.
Some of the survivors told authorities they were from Mexico, and four appeared to be between 10 and 17 years old, Homan said. Investigators gave no details on where the rig began its journey or where it was headed.
Border Patrol has reported an increase in tractor trailer human smuggling this past month, on the international border, in Webb County. Within the past six weeks, 165 people have been found locked inside trailers seeking to immigrate illegally to the U.S. It is a practice that deals with human life as a commodity, with a high morbidity rate.
Bradley has been officially charged with transporting illegal immigrants resulting in the death of ten people, although hospital officials fear that number will continue to rise. He remains in detention, and if convicted, will receive the death penalty.
Thomas Homan has made a clear and unadulterated promise to those who believe their greed far outweighs the human rights involved in human trafficking, “there will be an unwavering commitment to use law enforcement assets to put an end to smuggling. By any standard, the horrific crime uncovered last night ranks as a stark reminder of why human smuggling networks must be pursued, caught and punished.”
We couldn’t agree more, Mr. Homan, you have a president that promised Americans that this abomination would be stopped. There should be nary a thing to stand in your way.