A call for change as human smuggling incidents surge in Texas

As the country watches the tragedy in San Antonio unfold where 9 people died in the back of a hot semi-truck, we’re also getting an idea of how big the problem of human smuggling is in Texas.

17 of the 38 people found in the Walmart parking lot on Sunday are facing life-threatening injuries, according to the Associated Press.

WFAA has learned of an alarming number of incidents since June 2 of this year of immigration and border officials rescuing, detaining or discovering immigrants packed into tractor trailer rigs hoping to sneak across the border.

In most cases, the discoveries happened on I-35 near Laredo.  In the past 7 weeks, 255 people have been rescued, detained or recovered.

WFAA uncovered the following data:

  • June 2: 48 people in Laredo
  • June 19: 44 people in Laredo
  • July 4: 10 people  in Laredo
  • July 7: 72 people in Laredo
  • July 8: 33 people in Laredo
  • July 14: 10 people in Laredo
  • July 23: 38 people in San Antonio

Congressman Joaquin Castro D-Texas 20th District says it’s time to come together as Americans to prevent the tragedy in San Antonio from happening again.

“This is partly a symptom of a broken immigration system,” said Castro.  “Congress was close to doing something about that a few years ago.  We’ve got to get back to a place where we can work together as democrats and republicans on reforming the immigration system.”

, San Antonians like Barbie Hurtado, voiced their concern at a Sunday evening rally calling for justice, attention and humane treatment of immigrants risking their lives while coming to America.

“I’m an immigrant myself.  We don’t just decide let me risk my life and embark on this long journey to see if I make it to live the American dream,” said Hurtado.   "We do it because we have to.  Because in the country of our origin, we face war, we face poverty, we face violence.”

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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