An illegal human smuggling attempt in Uvalde County, Texas, left two people dead and 15 others who nearly asphyxiated. According to the Uvalde Police Department on Saturday, the migrants entered the United States hidden in a train car.
In the statement, authorities said they discovered the migrants when 911 received a call on Friday from an anonymous caller informing them that there were several people "suffocating" inside a train car. The emergency service then alerted the Border Patrol, which was able to intercept the vehicle three miles east of Knippa, Texas:
Inside the wagon they found several "undocumented immigrants," 17 in total. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told Texas Public Radio, they quickly mobilized all available medical services, both within the county and from other nearby areas of the state: "There were more people than we had ambulances [currently] available in Uvalde. We called them in from everywhere — Kerrville, San Antonio, Hondo, and locally in Uvalde."
The Uvalde Police Department reported that the Union Pacific Railroad will lead the investigation into the incident, with the help of county authorities.
This is not the first time migrants have attempted to gain access to the United States by hiding in a train car. As McLaughlin said in his interview on the state’s public radio station, these situations are common in the state: "We deal with this every day down here. Not deaths every day but we're dealing with immigrants every day. Seven days a week."
Mexican migrant dies in Eagle Pass, Texas
On the same day that the Uvalde Police Department reported the death of two Honduran immigrants by asphyxiation, a similar incident was reported in Eagle Pass.
This time, according to the Texas County Fire Department, one person was found dead and 11 others were injured, also due to the high temperatures in the train cars:
Mayorkas responds to incidents
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security was quick to comment on the incidents. Alejandro Mayorkas posted a Tweet thanking Border Patrol and the Office of Homeland Security Investigations for their quick response:
I thank the Border Patrol Agents who responded to the scene and the HSI Agents who are supporting the investigation in Uvalde.
We will work with the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office to hold those responsible. Smugglers are callous and only care about making a profit.
— Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (@SecMayorkas) March 25, 2023
However, his words did little to mitigate criticism from a large part of the population that blames the secretary for the increase in illegal immigration. One such example is the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). The union, which includes Border Patrol agents, last week blamed both Mayorkas and the Biden administration for driving the border crisis:
Biden's border remains the most out-of-control, lawless disaster zone it's ever been.
Yet radical leftists still defend him as he routinely torpedoes one all-time record after another. Why? Because they love this complete dismantling of the rule of law. It's a win for them.
— Border Patrol Union - NBPC (@BPUnion) March 20, 2023