(Natural News) A series of raids in Laredo, Texas, disrupted 12 human smuggling stash houses and led to the arrest of a total of 229 illegal aliens, according to a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
August 27 capped off the ten-day period of raids. On that day, Laredo police officers and South Station Border Patrol agents were watching a suspected smuggling stash house on Juarez Avenue when they saw a person sneak through a hole in a fence of the house to get inside. After detaining the man, they determined he was a Mexican national who was in the U.S. illegally and arrested him for an immigration violation.
They then carried out a welfare check on the home, which is situated in a known human smuggling hot spot. They discovered 20 people packed inside, none of whom had personal protective equipment. All 20 were subsequently identified as illegal aliens from Guatemala and Mexico and were brought into custody for further investigation.
Many illegals are spreading coronavirus
Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak said: “As the number of illegal aliens testing positive for COVID-19 increases, these stash houses represent an increasingly significant threat to our agents, to public health, and to our health care system and our health care professionals.”
The acting Head of Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, said that some illegal immigrants are making the trip to the U.S. knowing they have coronavirus and spreading it as they are packed inside stash houses, trucks and motel rooms, which serve as “perfect incubators for COVID-19.”
“It’s not about migrants risking their lives any longer,” he stated. “It’s way beyond that. Now they’re risking the lives of everyone they come in contact with.”
Customs and Border Patrol noted there was a rise in illegal border crossings of 25 percent in July compared to June. Almost 41,000 people were caught throughout the month trying to enter the country illegally.
These people are being packed into small spaces in horrible conditions with no regard for their safety or well-being, and they are often treated as commodities rather than human beings. Sadly, many human smugglers also commit human trafficking. Many of these individuals are taken advantage of through fraud and coercion, subjecting them to forced labor, sex and indentured servitude.
Raids earlier in August found even more human smuggling victims
An August 19 traffic stop in Mission found 15 migrants stored in the back of a commercial box truck. On August 11, law enforcement agencies worked together to close down three stash houses in one day in Laredo. Acting on tips, they managed to arrest 35 people from Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador who had entered the U.S. illegally.
In a separate raid that took place earlier in August, police apprehended 51 migrants in a house five blocks away from the Rio Grande River border with Mexico after Laredo North Station Border Patrol agents were tipped off to the human smuggling stash house.
An initial “knock and talk” investigation found 14 illegals. Information obtained from the migrants prompted officials to secure a search warrant for an apartment unit next door, where police found 37 more people being held after crossing into Texas illegally. All 51 individuals came to the U.S. illegally from Mexico and Guatemala.
Of course, these are just the ones who were caught; there is no way of knowing just how many migrants managed to elude agents and sneak into country, potentially spreading coronavirus along the way. Those who are not caught are often shuffled from stash house to stash house until they make their way into other parts of the country. This is a problem that should concern every American even in normal times, but the stakes are far higher now as these people enter the country and spread COVID-19.
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