Last night's discovery of an 18 wheeler packed with 55 illegal immigrants demonstrates a new and very dangerous trend in illegal immigration, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Jose Martinez, the Assistant Chief of the Border Patrol in Laredo, says we are seeing more cases of illegal immigrants stuffed in the backs of tractor trailers, because the Mexican drug cartels have essentially seized control of illegal entry across the Rio Grande into Texas.
He says much stricter border security has made it essentially impossible for an individual to cross the Rio Grande individually, as was common in illegal immigration over the past several generations.
The cartels also have operational control of much of the Mexican side of the Rio Grande."The cartels are responsible for a majority of the border, and Texas Mexico border, and they have control over who comes into the United States, and that includes narcotics also," Martinez said today.
This is the third high profile detention of large numbers of illegal immigrants in the backs of 18 wheelers in San Antonio in less than a year, dating back to last July's discovery of ten illegals who died making the trip from Laredo to San Antonio in an un-air conditioned tractor trailer.
Martinez says all 55 of the people found inside the 18 wheeler last night paid $3,000 to $8,000 per person to be transported into the U.S.
"They are seen as a commodity," Martinez says. "That's all they see is money."