The decade's most triggering comedy
Smugglers were caught using a fake U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) truck to try to sneak migrants over the U.S. border in California on Saturday.
The truck, which was tricked out in Border Patrol decal stickers and fake Department of Homeland Security license plates to resemble a real CBP truck, was initially spotted by Mexican immigration officials.
Mexican authorities said they found the truck on July 22 in Mexico close to the California border with 17 migrants huddled inside.
The smugglers likely told the migrants something like, “Hop on, we already have an agreement. This is a US Border Patrol vehicle. With this, they won’t ask you anything before you cross the border,” said David Pérez Tejada, delegate for the Mexican government’s National Migration Institute.
The truck was confiscated by U.S. authorities after it was found.
The smugglers were arrested at the border, and the migrants were transferred to Tijuana police headquarters.
A similar incident happened in 2021.
A fake CBP vehicle transporting 10 migrants was spotted and apprehended by Homeland Security and Border Patrol agents near the Tucson border. In that case, the driver of the fake Border Patrol car and the 10 migrants were taken into custody.
NEW: Looks like a legit Border Patrol vehicle, right?
It’s a fake. Border Patrol in Tucson, AZ arrested a human smuggler who basically cloned a Border Patrol SUV, had a fake uniform, and had 10 illegal immigrants in the car. All in custody. @FoxNews
Courtesy: @USBPChiefTCA pic.twitter.com/Y3uoL42HEt
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) August 25, 2021
It’s not just government vehicles that smugglers try to clone either.
Last month, CBP said smugglers used fake FedEx vans to try to smuggle migrants into El Paso.
Last year in June, 53 migrants died in an 18-wheeler that was decked out to look like a legally registered truck. The truck made it past a Texas border checkpoint and arrived in San Antonio, where it started having mechanical problems and was abandoned by its driver.
Meanwhile, border authorities warn that it is extremely dangerous for migrants to depend on smugglers to help them make the trek up through Central America and over the U.S. border illegally.
Migrant deaths have soared this summer from dangerous conditions and scorching temperatures.
Border Patrol agents encountered 96 dead migrants in the El Paso area this fiscal year, the agency said, more than three times the 29 bodies agents found in fiscal year 2022.
“We are currently recording a significant number of migrant deaths in New Mexico due to the desert terrain and extreme heat. Migrants do not have sufficient water and there is minimal shade,” Border Patrol said in a statement to Border Report.
“We are seeing a lot of people crossing during the hottest part of the day, which is something we normally had not seen before. That ends up being a very dangerous thing,” Andy Buckert, a watch commander at the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station, told the outlet.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has allowed hundreds of thousands of new illegal migrants into the country.
Overall, during the last two years, the administration has allowed at least 541,000 migrants into the country through the parole authority, which allows the federal government to let in migrants without visas.
Exacerbating the issue is the end of Title 42, a COVID emergency rule that allowed authorities to deport migrants quickly back to Mexico.
Title 42 expired on May 11 after several previous attempts by the Biden administration to end it.