U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials revealed that a second accident involving 19 suspected illegal aliens occurred this week at approximately the same time and place as a mass casualty crash happened that resulted in the deaths of at least 13 people, all believed to have illegally entered the U.S.
The two separate critical incidents happened during the early morning hours on Tuesday when two SUVs entered a 10-foot hole that had been cut in an old section of border fence, which was not part of former President Donald Trump’s wall.
The first accident temporarily garnered national headlines as one of the SUVs, a Ford Expedition carrying 25 people, collided with large tractor-trailer, killing 12 people instantly. Another individual later died at the hospital. The other 12 individuals were all transported to local hospital with injuries ranging from serious to critical, based on initial reporting. CBP said in a statement that “all are suspected to have entered the U.S. illegally.”
The second vehicle, a Chevy Suburban, was found in a nearby area “engulfed in flames on the U.S. side of the border,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Nineteen people were found hiding in the bushes near the crash and federal law enforcement officials determined “they had entered the country illegally through the breach in the border fence.” USA Today reported that the Suburban “carried” the 19 people before catching fire approximately 30 miles after crossing the border.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced shortly after the mass casualty accident that they had opened up a human smuggling investigation.
“Special Agents from Homeland Security Investigations San Diego responded to the scene of today’s fatal crash in El Centro, California, and have initiated a human smuggling investigation,” ICE said in a statement. “The investigation is ongoing and no further details are available at this time.”
“This is a tragedy that has once again exposed the weakness of those portions of the border not protected by the new wall system,” former senior DHS immigration adviser Ken Cuccinelli told The Daily Wire. “These folks came easily through an old and worn out part of the old wall protecting our border.”
Two Democrat U.S. lawmakers warned this week that President Joe Biden’s immigration agenda will be a disaster for the U.S. and both specifically mentioned that human smugglers know how to work the system.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) “hopes the administration continues using a Trump-era public health order to quickly expel migrant adults and families, at least during the pandemic,” Axios reported. “He said smugglers will likely use the shift in immigration tactics from the Trump to the Biden administration to convince migrants to come to the U.S.”
“The bad guys know how to market this,” Cuellar said.
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) told CNN that the policies the Biden administration is pushing for could devastate the Democrat Party and the country.
“Well, my concern at this in the recent weeks in my district, migrants who made it across the border, who even pass the line of MPPs [Migrant Protection Protocols], who were 5,000 folks that have been waiting for two years across the border, made it across the Rio Grande Valley were processed and released,” Gonzalez said. “If that is the message that we send to Central America and around the world, I can assure you, it won’t be long before we have tens of thousands of people showing up to our border.”
“And it’ll be catastrophic for our party, for our country, for my region, for my district, in the middle of a pandemic, in an area where we’ve lost over 3,000 people in my small congressional district,” Gonzalez continued. “So, I think we need to have a better plan in place. I think asylum seekers should be able to ask for asylum and be processed in their home country or a neighboring country. And we shouldn’t have a policy in place that impulses people to make this 2,000 mile trek where cartels and human traffickers are enriching themselves.”