Texas Police Find 55 Suspected Undocumented Immigrants In Back of Tractor Trailer

As many as 55 people, some of them children, were discovered in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, according to local media reports. 

Authorities were called to a North Side neighborhood at around 8:30p.m. on Tuesday and found dozens of people suspected of entering the country illegally in the vehicle, KSAT-TV reported. 

San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood said five people had to be transported to a local hospital for treatment for minor injuries. 

Otherwise, he said everyone found inside the tractor-trailer appeared to be in good health. 

"This truck was air-conditioned, thank God," Hood said, adding that the truck had water, so the group was "hydrated."

In July last year, 10 people died on the way to San Antonio while being smuggled into the U.S. in an overheated tractor-trailer that the Department of Justice believed had been packed with as many as 70 to 200 people at one point.

A Walmart employee had called local authorities requesting a welfare check after being asked for water. Police found eight people dead inside the tractor-trailer, with two more people pronounced dead later after suffering heat stroke and dehydration.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, 61-year-old James Matthew Bradley, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the incident.

KSAT-TV said a member of the community who was watching news coverage of the incident purchased pizza for the group, which they were able to eat while they were being detained. 

They were later taken to a detention center after being searched, the broadcaster reported.

Homeland Security Investigations spokeswoman Nina Pruneda told the Associated Press that the agency is investigating the incident. 

HSI has not responded to a request for comment from Newsweek. 

As part of its nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration, the Trump administration has cracked down on smuggling operations, with enhanced security at the border.

"Human smuggling operations, smuggling of drugs and other contraband and entry of gang members and other criminals at the border of the United States threaten our national security and public safety," President Donald Trump said in an April memo announcing increased measures to restrict illegal border crossings.

He added that "the backlog of immigration-related cases in our administrative system is alarmingly large and has hindered the expeditious adjudication of outstanding cases," adding that  "border-security and immigration‑enforcement personnel shortages have become critical."

The president has overseen a "zero tolerance" approach to undocumented immigrants, demanding that anyone caught crossing the border illegally be referred for federal prosecution and seeing families separated at the border, with parents taken to federal jail and children taken into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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