The bodies of at least 46 migrants (50 migrants according to Mexican officials) were found inside a tractor-trailer in San Antonio on Monday (June 27) making it the deadliest human smuggling incident in U.S. history.
Another 16 people, including four minors, were pulled from the semi alive and transported to the hospital for medical treatment for heat-related illnesses. The migrants were found by a worker at a nearby facility, who went to investigate when he heard cries coming from the truck. Three suspects were arrested.
Texas congressmen Chuy Garcia and Joaquin Castro commented on the tragedy and called for an end to Title 42, a public health provision enacted by the Trump administration during the pandemic that prohibits migrants from entering the United States at the U.S.-Mexico border, including those seeking asylum. The order has continued under the Biden administration.
“This is horrific,” Garcia tweeted. “We need to end Title 42 and fix our broken immigration system, so these unimaginable tragedies stop happening. People fleeing violence and poverty deserve a chance at a better life. Que descansen en paz.”
“The tragedy in San Antonio tonight, the loss of life, is horrific,” Castro tweeted. “My prayers are with the victims, their families and the survivors being treated in our community. May God bless them. We must end Title 42 which has put desperate, oppressed people in grave danger of death.”
According to the Texas Tribune, at least 650 migrants died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021, more than in any other year since 2014 when data was first tracked by the International Organization for Migration, which is part of the United Nations.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg added: “Migrants seeking asylum should always be treated as a humanitarian crisis, but this evening we’re facing a horrific human tragedy. More than 40 hopeful lives were lost. I urge you to think compassionately, pray for the deceased, the ailing, and their families at this moment.”