Social Issues

Texas to increase truck checkpoints after deaths of 53 migrants

Los Angeles, US, Jun 29 (EFE).- The governor of Texas on Wednesday ordered the setting up of more checkpoints for trucks throughout the state, in addition to other measures, two days after 53 migrants died in a truck.

At a press briefing in Eagle Pass, Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will establish the new vehicle inspection checkpoints, targeting semi-trucks.

“DPS will create and implement a checkpoint strategy beginning immediately. They will begin targeting trucks like the one that was used when these people perished,” Abbott said.

The measure will be part of Operation Lone Star, launched by Abbott last year to boost security at the southern border.

The Republican explained that the DPS will deploy strike teams trained to detect “clone” trucks used along smuggling corridors.

Abbott’s plan comes after investigations revealed that the truck carrying more than 60 migrants inside an attached trailer in high temperatures passed at least two checkpoints while entering the United States from Mexico.

The truck, which was found Monday on a backroad in San Antonio around 6 pm, was cloned as it was showing fake identification of a cargo company in Texas.

Francisco Garduño, commissioner of Mexico’s National Migration Institute, said on Wednesday that the vehicle passed through the US immigration checkpoints, where it was captured by surveillance cameras at 2.50 pm in Encinal, Texas, on Monday.

This suggests that the migrants had to remain locked up in the truck for several hours in what is being considered the deadliest human smuggling tragedy in the US in recent decades.

The driver, identified by Mexican government officials as Homero Zamorano, was caught on camera crossing a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint in Encinal.

Abbott explained that “the truck was not inspected because the Border Patrol does not have the resources to be able to inspect all of the trucks.”

Zamorano was arrested near the scene of the incident posing as one of the migrants from the truck, according to information from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In addition to the new vehicle checkpoints, Abbott said the DPS will deploy at least two additional teams comprising Texas National Guard troopers to high traffic crossing areas.

The Texas National Guard also plans to put more drones into the air in the coming months to monitor the border, while the state military department will put more razor wire along the Rio Grande border as well as miles of additional fencing and barriers to discourage the entry of migrants. EFE


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