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Border Patrol officers rescued 25 migrants from a locked, freezing trailer in Texas

By Alaa Elassar, CNN

Border patrol agents have rescued 25 undocumented migrants from a locked trailer in Texas where they were left in the cold with no way to escape.

Big Bend Border Patrol Sector officers in Sierra Blanca found the migrants Wednesday morning with some of them shivering from the cold and crying, CBP said in a news release

“There have been significant rescues as of late by our agents where individuals were left in hazardous conditions and required immediate medical attention,” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin said in a statement. “Transnational criminal organizations have no concern for humanity, they continually place lives in danger.”

The nationalities of the migrants and additional details regarding the suspect who smuggled them were not released due to the ongoing investigation.

The failed smuggling event comes after border patrol agents in October rescued 75 migrants from Central America and Mexico locked in a refrigerated tractor-trailer where the temperature was set to 58 degrees, according to the CBP.

In July 2017, 10 undocumented immigrants died when dozens of them were found packed in an overheated tractor-trailer in San Antonio.

“Cartels are abandoning migrants and leaving them in dangerous situations at an alarming rate. In fiscal year 2021, the US border patrol rescued 12,877 migrants in the southwest border regions, compared to a little under or over 5,000 in previous years,” West Texas CBP spokesperson Landon Hutchens told CNN.

“Transnational human smuggling is a multi-billion dollar a year criminal enterprise for transnational criminal organizations. They do not care about the lives and welfare of the migrants they smuggle, only about the money they can make from exploiting them.”

Issues at the border

Tens of thousands of migrants arrive at the US border each week, with record-setting numbers of unaccompanied minors among them. The spike in numbers has once again overwhelmed an unprepared US immigration system, which has faced this type of crisis repeatedly in years past but has yet to resolve entrenched problems like overburdened asylum courts and facilities ill-equipped for housing children.

Officials are also up against human smugglers who play a massive role in facilitating the illegal crossings of migrants at the border.

President Joe Biden and his top advisers have been working to devise solutions to the situation, including scaling up capacity to house unaccompanied children and working with Mexico to help manage the flow of migrants from Central America.

US authorities have made nearly 1.66 million arrests for unlawful crossings on the US-Mexico border over the past year, the highest annual number of apprehensions on record, according to year-end data released by the CBP.

Since taking office, the Biden administration has struggled to manage the unprecedented number of migrants crossing into the US, faced early on with an influx of children that overwhelmed resources, and most recently, caught off guard by thousands of migrants arriving within days to the unprepared region of Del Rio, Texas.

The number of monthly border arrests — a measure of unlawful crossings — skyrocketed under the Biden administration, though they began to rise under former President Donald Trump.

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