Conditions Immigrants Face When Smuggling into the US
WESLACO – A U.S. citizen is facing charges for illegally bringing people into the country and harboring them.
Last Friday, James Clayton Pool was caught transporting a total of 26 people into the country illegally.
Twelve were from Mexico, 13 from Central America and one was from the Dominican Republic.
The immigrants were found hiding in a concealed compartment inside a rental truck.
A federal criminal complaint details the journey from the border.
The temperature inside the truck hit 86 degrees and the compartment where the 26 hid was covered in moisture from their own body heat.
Border Patrol Agent Robert Rodriguez said, “It's extremely concerning to us that we continue to see these smugglers placing these immigrants in these perilous situations. We've seen the immigrants placed in both extremes if you will. We've seen them placed in frigid conditions, in refrigerated trucks. We've also seen them placed in conditions where it's extremely hot."
One woman recounted feeling concerned there wouldn't be enough oxygen to breath if she remained inside the concealed compartment of the rented truck.
Border Patrol said rental trucks or personally owned vehicles are seized and processed the same.
If the owner of the vehicle wants their property back they would need to contact asset forfeiture and file a case. Otherwise, the unit would be auctioned off.