Deadliest Migrant Smuggling Incident Occurs in “Cloned” Truck


Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

Attempts to smuggle migrants across the US border from Mexico is a story that we have heard before. In many of these attempts, tractor-trailers are used to store the human beings being transported.

Unfortunately, a recent incident in San Antonio is reported to be the deadliest yet on US soil.

100 People Inside a Trailer

After hearing people inside of a trailer, one person walked up to a truck in San Antonio and opened the doors. 100 people were inside. 50 people were found dead, with the death toll potentially climbing from there. 16 people were rushed to the local hospital for dehydration and heat exhaustion.

The death toll made this the most fatal smuggling occurrence inside the borders of the United States. The migrants came from the countries of Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Authorities reported that three people were in custody related to this crime, but it was not reported if the truck driver was one of them.

A “Cloned” Truck

The truck found smuggling migrants was nearly-identical to one owned by Betancourt Trucking and Harvesting, a Texas trucking company. The truck was the same color and had the same DOT numbers, but it did not have the company’s logo like other Betancourt trucks.

This type of falsification attempted to “clone” a truck in order to pass by authorities and checkpoints. The owners of Betancourt said that the real truck with those DOT numbers had not been to San Antonio and had been hauling grain in a different region.

Truckers Against Trafficking

Truckers Against Trafficking is a nonprofit organization that helps truck drivers identify human traffickers. Considering how OTR drivers are always on the road and at truck stops across the country, truckers are the first line of defense against human trafficking and smuggling.

Truck drivers can check out a quick 27-minute video on the TAT website that helps train drivers to fight this both trafficking and smuggling.

Divided Lawmakers on Immigration and Migrants

In a politically-polarized America, it’s no surprise that Representatives from the different parties have a different focus for fighting this problem.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, has helped to write an immigration reform bill. She wants to make it easier to process migrants in federal custody and expand a legal pathway for more immigration.

Rep. Escobar believes that current laws and regulations, such as the ability for immigration officials to expel non-citizens without the proper documents, are leading migrants to take more dangerous steps to enter the US.

On the other hand, Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, believes that the focus should be to battle the criminal gangs or organizations that profit off the human smuggling operations.

Additionally, Rep. Gonzales blames the immigration policies of Biden for encourage hundreds of thousands of migrants to come to the US, expecting an easy passage.