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46 migrants found dead in abandoned tractor-trailer in San Antonio

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San Antonio police said a city worker discovered dozens of dead migrants inside an abandoned tractor-trailer. Initial reports Monday night indicated 46 migrants were dead and another 16 were hospitalized. However on Tuesday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the death toll had risen to 50. That death toll was confirmed by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

“The plight of migrants seeking refuge is always a humanitarian crisis,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Monday night. “But tonight we are dealing with a horrific human tragedy.”

According to police, the worker heard a cry for help from the tractor-trailer on a back road in the city. The inside of the truck was sweltering, with highs in the area around 100 degrees Fahrenheit Monday.

Local and federal authorities said there were no signs of water and no visible working air conditioning inside the tractor-trailer. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its Homeland Security Investigations division was conducting a criminal investigation into “an alleged human smuggling event” in coordination with local police.

“We hope that those responsible for putting these people in such [in]humane conditions are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Nirenberg said. During a press gaggle Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed President Joe Biden “has been briefed and going to continue to be regularly updated” on the San Antonio migrants who died in a tractor-trailer.

“As Secretary Mayorkas said, ‘Far too many lives have been lost…[to] this dangerous journey.’ We will continue to take action to disrupt human smuggling networks, which have no regard for lives,” Jean-Pierre said. “And we’re focused on continuing our historic actions to disrupt dangerous smuggling networks, including through a new anti-smuggling campaign that just in the first two months resulted in over 1,800 arrests.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 557 deaths on the southwest border in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30. That’s more than double the 247 deaths reported in the previous year and the highest since it began keeping track in 1998.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg | San Antonio: “So the plight of migrants seeking refuge is always a humanitarian crisis. But tonight we are dealing with a horrific human tragedy.”
Jimmie Johnson: THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES FOLLOWING ONE OF THE DEADLIEST TRAGEDIES INVOLVING MIGRANTS TRYING TO ENTER THE U-S.
A SAN ANTONIO CITY WORKER FOUND 46 PEOPLE DEAD IN AN ABANDONED TRACTOR-TRAILER MONDAY NIGHT.
THE DEATH TOLL HAS SINCE RISEN TO 50.
MORE THAN A DOZEN OTHERS WERE INITIALLY HOSPITALIZED.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg | San Antonio: “We hope that those responsible for putting these people in such humane conditions are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Jimmie Johnson: AND THIS IS NOT THE FIRST MIGRANT TRAGEDY TO HIT THE AREA.
10 MIGRANTS DIED AFTER BEING TRAPPED IN A TRUCK PARKED AT A WALMART IN 20-17.
AND IN TWO-THOUSAND-THREE- THE BODIES OF 19 MIGRANTS WERE FOUND IN A TRUCK SOUTHEAST OF SAN ANTONIO.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg | San Antonio: “We have been working to, you know, assist migrants who are here seeking asylum, as we have throughout the year, every year. We know that there’s been increasing volumes over the last six months, 12 months related to the, you know, the policies.”
Jimmie Johnson: D-H-S REPORTED 557 DEATHS ON THE SOUTHWEST BORDER IN THE LAST FISCAL YEAR.
THAT’S MORE THAN DOUBLE THE PREVIOUS YEAR’S TOTAL — AND THE HIGHEST SINCE C-B-P STARTED KEEPING TRACK IN 19-98.