Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says Biden’s policies are ‘enticing’ migrants to come across the border after 53 were found dead in the back of a truck after Kamala slammed him for making tragedy political
Greg Abbott accused President Joe Biden of enticing migrants to make the dangerous trip across the southern border due to lax immigration policies after Vice President Kamala Harris said the Texas governor is playing politics after 53 migrants died in a smuggling incident.
‘Because of the way that the Biden administration is not enforcing the immigration laws, it’s attracting people and enticing people to make this very dangerous trek, causing them to lose their lives,’ the Texas governor said during a press conference on Wednesday.
‘I urge the president: Stop the loss of lives,’ he said. ‘You have the ability to stop people from losing their lives if you make it clear that nobody can come across illegally.’
‘There’s a perfectly legal way that people can immigrate to the United States of America. It’s that legal pathway, Mr. President, that you must insist upon – and if you do that, you will have a role in reducing the loss of life.’
The comments came two days after an abandoned tractor trailer was found on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas with dozens of dead migrants – and others in critical conditions.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Wednesday that Biden’s lax immigration laws are ‘attracting people and enticing people to make this very dangerous trek, causing them to lose their lives’
The comments come two days after an abandoned semi-truck was found on the side of the road outside San Antonio, Texas with dozens of migrants deceased or in critical condition
VP Harris said in an interview with NPR released Tuesday that Abbott isn’t ‘dealing with the realities of the issue.’
‘How the governor of that state responded really highlights part of the problem because his response when there are 50 dead bodies in his state is to go straight to politics,’ the vice president said.
The deadliest human smuggling attempt in American history immediately launched Republicans and Democrats into the blame game, claiming that the opposite parties’ policies are to blame for the loss of life.
The death toll rose from 50 to 53 on Wednesday and officials have identified 34 of the deceased. Several other survivors are in critical condition after suffering brain damage and internal bleeding.
‘President Biden was warned in advance that reduced border enforcement would lead to dire consequences, and we have seen those dire consequences,’ Abbott said at his press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Surveillance cameras captured Homero Zamorano, 45, driving the rig across the border hours before he allegedly abandoned it on a road in the outskirts of San Antonio. Police say Zamorano was ‘very high on meth’ at the time of his arrest and had attempted to disguise himself as a victim of the tragedy to ‘avoid being detained’
The consequences, the GOP governor said, are record numbers of illegal crossings at the southern border, a ‘greater sense of lawlessness,’ and ‘increased brazenness by cartels’, who he claims have felt ’empowered’ because Biden is not enforcing federal law.
‘The worst thing of all is the catastrophic death that we have witnessed,’ Abbott said of the fallout from open borders. ‘We saw this horrendous death occur at a truck in San Antonio earlier this week, and it is heartbreaking.’
‘It is the deadliest migrant smuggling incident on U.S. soil – and it’s on President Biden’s watch,’ he said.
The migration crisis continues to surge under the current administration as CBP encountered 239,416 migrants in May – the highest since Biden took office
Vice President Kamala Harris accused Abbott of going ‘straight to politics’ after the tragedy in an interview with NPR and blamed Trump-era policies for the migration crisis
The deadliest migrant tragedies in the US?
June 27, 2022: At least 50 migrants were found dead Monday in and around a large trailer truck that was abandoned on the roadside on the outskirts of of San Antonio, Texas.
The tractor-trailer was found on a road near I-35 amid 103-degree heat.
August 4, 2021: Ten people were killed and at 20 others injured after a van transporting migrants crashed near the border in Encino, Texas. The driver had attempted to make a right turn at an intersection before veering off the road and hitting both a utility pole and stop sign.
March 2, 2021: Thirteen migrants were killed and several including children injured after Ford SUV ‘with 25 immigrants crammed inside’ crashed into a gravel truck near the Mexican border in California. Witnesses recalled the sounds of crunching metal and glass, and how bodies flung dozens of feet across the pavement.
June 5, 2019: A SUV packed with more than a dozen undocumented migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico, crashed after a chase with police in rural South Texas. The vehicle had veered into a ditch in rainy weather.
July 23, 2017: Eight immigrants were found dead in a sweltering trailer at a San Antonio Walmart parking lot. Two others died later in hospitals. The driver was sentenced to life in prison.
July 22, 2012: A Ford pick-up truck carrying 23 migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico crashed into two trees in a rural South Texas town. Fifteen people were killed in the incident.
May 14, 2003: 19 migrants died inside a sweltering tractor-trailer while they traveled from South Texas to Houston.
Abbott also tweeted on Monday evening: ‘These deaths are on Biden. They are a result of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.’
Harris, however, said Tuesday that Trump administration policies are to blame for the country’s immigration woes – including the most recent tragedy.
‘We also need to take seriously the fact that we have a broken immigration system that was decimated by the last administration,’ Harris told NPR.
‘And we’ve been trying, and we are on the path doing it, to fix that broken system.’
Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden placed Harris in charge of the border crisis and she quickly became known as the ‘border czar’. The VP’s office has repeatedly made clear that her role is to address root causes of migration from Northern Triangle countries – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The semi-truck driver who transported up to 100 migrants across the southern border before leaving them to die in the sweltering Texas heat allegedly tried to disguise himself as a victim of the tragedy.
Surveillance cameras captured Homero Zamorano, 45, driving the rig across the border hours before he allegedly abandoned it on a road in the outskirts of San Antonio.
Police say Zamorano, of Houston, was ‘very high on meth’ at the time of his arrest and tried to pose as ‘an irregular immigrant to avoid being detained.’
Mexican nationals Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao and Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez were also taken into custody at a home in San Antonio. They were charged in federal court Tuesday with possessing firearms while residing in the U.S. illegally.
The death toll in the tragedy rose to 53 Wednesday. Among the identified deceased are four Hondurans and two Guatemalan sisters.
Police say the smugglers treated the migrants ‘worse than animals’ throughout the voyage, leaving them without any water or visible means of air-conditioning.
Investigators suspect the migrants paid the smugglers around $10,000 for safe passage to the U.S.