Three Texas residents are facing charges over two incidents of smuggling migrants into the US from Mexico in truck trailers. Meanwhile, hundreds of migrants a day are walking across the border, confident they won’t be sent back.
Marc Anthony Bane, 45, and Tara Renee Dillon, 33, were taken before a US magistrate judge on Thursday to answer charges of attempting to smuggle 89 migrants in a tractor trailer, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has said.
The day before, the same judge heard the charges against Michael Warren McCoy, 43, caught with 115 migrants in a refrigerated trailer.
Bane and Dillon were caught when a Border Patrol service dog in the Laredo sector noticed a smell coming from the truck stopped at a checkpoint on Interstate 35 in the middle of the night – only for agents to discover the migrants sweating profusely inside. Mccoy was pulled over by police on Highway 59, for failing to stay in a single lane.
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The DOJ did not say when the two incidents took place. Trailer smuggling seems to be a growing trend, as, earlier this month, Border Patrol arrested three US citizens and 74 migrants being smuggled in two trailers in the Big Bend sector of Texas.
Bane and Dillon allegedly expected to be paid $1,000 for the run. Charges against Mccoy allege he expected to be paid just $250 for his human cargo – and that he had made three such trips previously. All three face up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if found guilty.
Tractor trailers are a particularly risky way for migrants to try to cross borders illegally, especially in the summer heat. In July 2017, nine migrants from Latin America were found dead inside a trailer that ended up abandoned in a San Antonio Walmart parking lot. In one of the worst cases in recent history, 71 migrants were found dead of suffocation and heat in Austria in August 2015.
NEW: Another group of migrants has just been walked through the border gate into the U.S. here in Del Rio, TX. Most of the group is from Haiti. Some of the single adult men you see waiting in the back tell me they’re from Senegal, a country in West Africa. It’s non-stop. @FoxNewspic.twitter.com/3yL5gGECPo
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) July 22, 2021
The hundreds of migrants crammed into trucks and trailers are a drop in the tide of those currently crossing the US-Mexico border, however. Border Patrol says almost 1,000 people a day cross from Mexico in Del Rio, Texas alone. Many of them are from Haiti and African countries, according to Fox News reporter Bill Melugin, who documented their arrival on Thursday.
The Biden administration insists the surge in arrivals is seasonal, or caused by climate change, violence, or poverty – but not in any way by their revocation of the Trump administration’s immigration policies aimed at discouraging illegal immigration.
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