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Texas authorities discover 55 undocumented immigrants including children smuggled in tractor-trailer

July 12, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Texas authorities discover 55 undocumented immigrants including children smuggled in tractor-trailer

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Authorities in San Antonio, Texas, discovered a group of undocumented immigrants being smuggled in the back of a tractor-trailer.

Human smugglers brought the migrants in an air-conditioned trailer which stopped any serious injury or illness.

Officials from several agencies were dispatched last week after receiving a call regarding a group of people who were allegedly illegally entering the United States, KSAT reported.

When officers arrived, they discovered 55 suspected undocumented immigrants in and around a refrigerated tractor-trailer.

Homeland Security Investigations agents are investigating the failed human smuggling attempt, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Nina Pruneda. She did not reveal any further information regarding the situation.

Along with the large law enforcement presence, at least ten fire units also came to the scene for assistance.

San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood told the media that because the trailer was air conditioned and the smugglers gave water to the migrants, they only treated five people suffering from minor injuries. He said none of the migrants experience heat stroke or any other heat-related sickness.

The San Antonio Fire Department transported the five injured immigrants to a hospital for treatment of their injuries. ICE agents processed the 50 additional migrants and brought them to a detention center where background checks will be conducted.

The migrants might face criminal charges for immigration infractions and the children discovered in the trailer could be removed from their parents under the Trump Administration policies directed at reducing the danger to children. An exact amount of the number of minors at the scene has not been revealed.

A similar incident occurred last year when 12 illegals were packed inside of a tractor-trailer. In that incident, San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus interfered in immigration authorities attempt to take the migrants into custody.

Before ICE agents could take over the scene, McManus, who went to the scene in civilian clothes, took custody of the migrants and released them to Catholic Charities.

“Once the folks got to police headquarters we have no jurisdiction to hold them, so they were released to Catholic Charities and what Catholic Charities did with them I don’t know,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told the press.

He also made what many are calling an extremely unexpected choice to arrest the driver under Texas human smuggling policy instead of turning him over to ICE.

“It could have gone federal, it could have gone state,” McManus said. “So because we had 12 people on the corner, we had all of our officers queued waiting to see how we were going to handle this, I made the call to handle it at the state level.”

Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood told the media that this was highly unlikely.

“Since I have been the DA, they have not turned a case on transport smuggling to us in the three years that I have been the DA, this is a first,” LaHood said in an interview with ABC12.

After the migrants were released to Catholic Charities by Chief McManus, the president of the San Antonio Police Association requested that the chief be placed on administrative leave and for a probe into what he described as “obvious violations of the general manual.”

In a letter to the San Antonio City Council, Helle said he also thinks that Chief McManus may have “violated state or federal laws.”

In January, the Office of the Texas Attorney General verified to Breitbart Texas that they were investigating whether the chief’s conduct violated the state’s new sanctuary city law (SB4).

“Our office has received complaints alleging that the San Antonio chief violated Senate Bill 4, the Texas law prohibiting sanctuary city policies that the attorney general has authority to enforce,” OAG spokesperson Mark Rylander said. “We have begun our investigation and demanded that San Antonio Police preserve all records relating to the incident.”

According to KSAT, the Texas OAG received 31 complaints that Chief McManus may have broken the SB4 law. The law provides for criminal and civil penalties for authorities who decline to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

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