Department of Homeland Security Police Chief Alejandro Mayorkas came out on Sunday to blame victims of last week’s horror truck crash that killed 53 people – saying the Biden administration has repeatedly warned against How dangerous it is to try to cross the border.
Mayorkas is trying to fend off critics, who have blamed the administration’s supposedly lax border policies for the tragedy.
“We have said it many times and we continue to warn people not to take the dangerous journey,” Mayorkas said. CBS News’ “Facing the Nation.”
“We saw very tragically in San Antonio, Texas, one of the tragic possible outcomes of that dangerous journey, and so many people didn’t even get far in the hands of smugglers. exploitation”.
He said migrants traveling from Central and South America to the US-Mexico border are receiving misinformation from trafficking gangs before making the journey.
“They put their lives, their savings, into the hands of exploitative organizations, criminal organizations that don’t care about their lives and only seek to make a profit,” Mayorkas said.
On Monday, a stuffy 18 wheeler was found abandoned by a remote road in San Antonio – and the bodies of dozens of dead migrants were found piled up inside, with several corpses also discovered on the ground nearby.
The truck did not have working air conditioning despite the temperature reaching 103 degrees.
Charges were filed against the driver and one of his associates.
Governor of Texas Greg Abbott was one of the first to blame the Biden administration for the tragedy.
“These deaths are on Biden,” Abbott bubbled on Twitter late Monday. “They are the result of his deadly open door policies.
“They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law,” the Republican governor added.
Authorities say the lorry crossed the border in Laredo, about 150 kilometers south of where it was found, after being “cloned” to resemble a legitimate vehicle owned by a vehicle owner. local trucking company.
Mayorkas said smugglers have become more sophisticated over the decades.
“They have evolved over the past 30 years. … Now, they use very sophisticated technology, and they are extremely large organized transnational criminal enterprises. And we use technology and personnel 24 hours a day much more complex,” he said.
He acknowledged that smugglers can use “sophisticated means” to get a truck across the border, but the US is also ramping up efforts to use technology and manpower to thwart efforts. there.
“But I have to say, we caught more drugs at ports of entry than ever before. We have rescued more migrants. We are seeing a challenge that is truly regional, hemispheric in scope, and we are addressing it appropriately,” Mayorkas said.