U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a Mexican truck driver after finding more than 30 people hidden in his hot trailer.
The incident happened on Tuesday, July 2, at the I-19 Checkpoint near Nogales, Arizona, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB).
Authorities say that they referred a truck hauling produce from Mexico for secondary inspection. While inspecting the truck, agents discovered 33 migrants from Mexico and El Salvador hidden inside, including 12 children and a pregnant woman.
According to CPB, “The interior of the trailer was nearly 100 degrees, causing imminent danger to the people locked inside with no means of egress. Although the trailer was equipped with a refrigeration unit, the driver did not have it turned on.”
The 37 year old truck driver was arrested and is facing human smuggling charges.
The 33 migrants were placed in Border Patrol custody and are facing immigration violations.
The White House shared the story on various social media platforms and praised Border Patrol agents for saving lives.
THANK YOU to our heroic Border Patrol agents, whose vigilance caught this smuggler and potentially saved lives! pic.twitter.com/uvKQzBFPR1
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 3, 2019
The CPB news release also mentioned a new education initiative designed to cut down on deaths related to human smuggling in commercial vehicles:
“In an effort to prevent fatalities at the hands of smugglers, Department of Homeland Security has recently launched “Operation Safeguard” to educate the public and the trucking industry on the life-threatening dangers involved in using commercial conveyances to smuggle humans.”