Homeland Security says 54 people were found onboard the trailer Tuesday night. The group included men, women and children who had come from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Brazil.
Five people were taken to the hospital.
“The people rescued from this tractor-trailer were very lucky to have been discovered before the Texas heat took its toll,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane M. Folden, HSI San Antonio. “We have recently seen how smuggled people have died under the dangerous circumstances human smugglers transport their human cargo. These horrific instances show how no one should trust their lives — or the lives of their loved ones — to these criminal organizations.”
A man from Laredo has been arrested and is expected to be charged with federal human smuggling operations.
ORIGINAL 7:40 a.m.:
Homeland Security is investigating after dozens of undocumented immigrants were found in a tractor-trailer Tuesday night in the city’s North Side.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood says 55 people were in or around the trailer on Laurelhurst near Broadway and Loop 410.
“No idea where they were traveling to, but they were traveling in an air-conditioned tractor-trailer with water,” stated Hood.
None of them were suffering from heat-related problems, but five suffered minor injuries when they fell from the truck or tried to run away.
“We’re very fortunate tonight that we’re not out here with a bunch of body bags like we were before,” said Hood.
Last summer, a tractor-trailer was discovered in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio. Ten undocumented immigrants died.
It was a different scenario Tuesday night.
“It is a feel-good story because we are only reporting five patients that are going to be transported tonight, and all of them are minor injuries. They were injuries that were sustained when they either fell, or when they were fleeing from the truck,” Hood said.
The five injured people were taken to hospitals and the others were taken to a detention center.
Catholic Charities and RAICES, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, showed up at the scene.