WORLD 4 die in crash days after trailer tragedy


4 die in crash days after trailer tragedy

China Daily

11:07, July 02, 2022

Migrants from South America illegally cross the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas, at the border with Mexico on Thursday. [Photo/Agencies]

A Jeep carrying a group of migrants crashed into a trailer after evading a US Customs and Border Protection checkpoint in the town of Encinal, Texas, on Thursday, leaving four dead and three hospitalized, authorities said.

The crash occurred just days after the deadliest human smuggling incident on record in the United States that left 53 migrants dead in an abandoned trailer truck on the edge of San Antonio.

Two Mexican men, one Guatemalan and another unidentified person died in Thursday's crash, said the Mexican consulate in the Texan border city of Laredo in a statement.

The driver, a US citizen, was hospitalized along with two people thought to be from Guatemala, according to information from the consulate, Mexico's Interior Ministry and the National Institute of Migration, or INM.

The truck had left from Laredo and was headed to San Antonio, said the Mexican Interior Ministry and the INM in a joint statement.

The Texas Department of Public Safety was investigating the incident, said a spokesman for the agency on Twitter.

On Monday, dozens of migrants died after being trapped in a sweltering tractor-trailer found abandoned on the outskirts of San Antonio. Authorities believe the trailer had also passed CBP surveillance cameras in Encinal undetected.

Old policy question

The disclosure brings new attention to an old policy question of whether the roughly 110 inland highway checkpoints along the Mexican and Canadian borders are sufficiently effective at spotting people in cars and trucks who enter the US illegally. They are generally located up to 160 kilometers from the border.

Four people have been arrested over Monday's tragedy, including the suspected driver, who a lawmaker said was under the influence of methamphetamine when found by police.

The truck had been carrying migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and was found in a desolate, industrial area near a highway on the outskirts of the US-Mexico border.

Temperatures that day had soared as high as 39.4 C, and authorities called to the scene found no water supplies or signs of working air conditioning inside the cargo trailer.

Along with 27 Mexicans, the victims included 14 Hondurans, eight Guatemalans and two Salvadorans. Others, including minors, remain hospitalized.

The deaths once again highlight the challenge of controlling migrant crossings for President Joe Biden, who came into office pledging to reverse some of the hard-line immigration policies of his predecessor Donald Trump. Republicans have criticized Biden's border strategy ahead of the midterm congressional elections in November.

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