Around thirty presumed undocumented immigrants were smuggled into Texas June 12 and dropped off at a travel stop.
Police officers say they received a phone call that evening informing them an 18-wheeler box truck had just unloaded dozens of people near Truck and Travel truck stop, CBS reports.
When Weatherford, Texas, authorities got there, they saw “several undocumented immigrants walking in the parking lot and on the roadway near the business.”
The driver of the truck had already left the scene by the time police arrived. They are currently looking for the individual.
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After Weatherford police department contacted the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), it was confirmed they were illegal immigrants.
Many of the immigrants appeared fatigued. They were hot and hungry and did not know where they were. Three of them were juveniles.
They told police they had paid somebody to smuggle them at the El Paso/Juarez border, traveling inside of a hot trailer for hours.
Volunteers with the Weatherford Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association gave the tired immigrants food and water.
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None of the immigrants were forced against their will to come here. Instead, they were trying to illegally enter the country to find work.
No charges were pressed against any of the immigrants. The INS detained them, and all but the juveniles were housed at a local jail for the night.
The younger individuals were sent to the Weatherford Police Department.
Hot trailers are notoriously painful to travel inside of and can sometimes be fatal. Many are wearing all the clothes they own as they travel in already hot conditions.
“I saw death,” said Israel, an immigrant who attempted to enter the US in 2003 in what is considered one of the worst immigrant tragedies in U.S. history, Texas Monthly reports. “I saw it, very clearly. In the darkness, I saw a shadow pass by me. And I said, ‘The devil has taken over this truck.’”
Albert, another immigrant on the same truck, recalls becoming so seriously dehydrated he had to drink his own sweat.
“I put myself in the hands of the Virgin, so that she would give me the strength I needed to live through the hell I was in,” he said, recalling how close he felt he was to death.