Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called it “a heartbreaking tragedy.”
At least nine people are dead after a phone call from a Walmart employee led to the discovery of dozens of undocumented immigrants severely injured in the back of a tractor-trailer in San Antonio Texas early Sunday, according to federal authorities. The back of the truck apparently had no air conditioning, and the temperature inside reached close to 150 degrees.
ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan deplored the discovery as the latest major case of human smuggling in the United States.
US Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat who represents parts of San Antonio, called for reform. “Horrific scene overnight in San Antonio where a human smuggling attempt turned deadly. Prosecute smugglers, pray for survivors and the victims’ families, stop the hysteria, reform our broken immigration system.”
My thoughts echo those of Rep. Doggett.
I can’t imagine how desperate a person must become before he or she finally decides that their best, and perhaps only, hope for a better life for themselves and their family involves being smuggled across the border. I am sure these individuals knew what they were doing was illegal, and they knew that there were risks associated with such an attempt.
Most, if not all of us, take our freedom for granted in the U.S. We also take for granted the amazing opportunities that are available to us. Both are part of what makes America great. Most of us did not have to do anything to take advantage of such freedom and opportunity, except to be born here – the proverbial luck of birth.
As I’ve written about before, it all just seems grossly unfair; why am I lucky enough to be sitting here writing about this tragic event? With a simple twist of fate, it could have been me or my family in that truck. Or maybe I decided to stay in my country, watching my family live in subhuman conditions. How long can a person be expected to do that, before he or she does something out of pure desperation? How important is freedom and opportunity to you – would you be willing to take the risks that these immigrants took?
We need to fix our immigration system; we need to be willing to offer to anyone, from anywhere, the same hope and opportunity that we were simply born into.
If the tables were reversed, I know I would hope that people in the U.S. would be willing to share their blessings with me.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event.