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Thread: IF IMMIGRATION WOULD NOT (Corrected) BE THAT STRICK, THESE PEOPLE MAY LIVE.

  1. #1
    Guest
    MSNBC STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
    VICTORIA, Texas, May 15 "” As authorities searched Thursday for two people tied to the immigrant smuggling operation that left 18 people dead, details surfaced about the horrific conditions inside the big rig that was crammed with some 100 people. The rig's owner, meanwhile, was charged Thursday with transporting illegal immigrants, many of whom were from Mexico. That country's consul in Houston lamented that while the immigrants had sought work, they instead "found death." \

    ˜These are people who came to work and found death.'
    "” EDUARDO IBARROLA
    Mexico's consul in Houston LOCKED INSIDE the back of the sweltering, airless semitrailer, one person was able to dial 911 on a cell phone and pleaded for help in Spanish. But by the time a South Texas police dispatcher found someone to translate, the call had been lost.
    Minutes later, another immigrant hung a bandanna out of a hole in the trailer's back door as it sped north on U.S. Highway 77. Another motorist saw the signal, but his mobile phone wasn't working, so he couldn't call authorities in time.
    When the trailer's door was opened early Wednesday, 17 people had lost their lives in one of the deadliest cases of human smuggling in U.S. history. A 91-year-old man later died from a heart attack soon after arriving at a hospital.
    "This is a serious, serious crime," Bob Wallis, the region's top immigration official, said Wednesday at the truck stop outside Victoria, where sheriff's deputies made the gruesome discovery.

    TRAILER OWNER HELD
    Advertisement



    Authorities said the trailer's owner, Tyrone Williams of Schenectady, N.Y., was arrested Wednesday in the Houston area, about 115 miles northeast of Victoria.
    Williams' wife, Karen, told the Houston Chronicle that her husband normally hauls watermelons from the border to the Northeast. She said her husband told her the trailer was hijacked and that he dropped the trailer "for his own safety and ran."
    Officials weren't convinced of that explanation, and a federal complaint was filed Thursday charging Williams with transporting and harboring aliens and conspiracy to transport and harbor aliens, Victoria County District Attorney M.P. "Dexter" Eaves told NBC's "Today" show.
    Michael Shelby, U.S. attorney in Houston, said authorities were looking for a white male and a dark-skinned, possibly Hispanic, woman.
    Thirteen bodies were found inside the trailer and four more were on the ground just outside. A boy, 5 or 6 years old, was among the dead.
    The smugglers apparently unhitched the trailer at the Victoria truck stop, about 175 miles from the Mexican border, and drove off. Insulation around several small holes in the back door was scraped away, suggesting the immigrants from Mexico and Central America had tried to claw their way to more air.
    "In desperation, the people said they broke out the truck's taillights, to try and attract someone's attention and perhaps get some air," said Marco Nunez, press officer for Eduardo Ibarrola, Mexico's consul in Houston. Ibarrola interviewed some of the survivors.
    Some of the victims were said to have torn off their clothes because of the unbearable heat.

    MISSED CHANCES TO HELP
    The 911 call came in to police in Kingsville, 100 miles south of Victoria, just before midnight Tuesday from a Spanish speaker on a cellular phone. There was lots of yelling and background noise.
    Police Chief Sam Granato said the dispatcher passed the call to someone who spoke Spanish, but the call was cut off and the number couldn't be traced. But after listening to a digital recording, Granato said police were able to hear the man saying that people were suffocating.
    "He kept saying that over and over again," said Granato, adding that the man also said "help me" and "there's nine down."
    Granato said someone traveling on the highway called police to report seeing a hand waving a bandanna out of a hole in the back of a white 18-wheeler with New York plates. Granato said it wasn't until a teletype came in from Victoria on Wednesday afternoon about the white 18-wheeler that dispatchers connected the calls.



    It was the deadliest immigrant-smuggling attempt in the United States in more than 15 years. In 1987, the Border Patrol found 18 Mexican immigrants dead in a boxcar left on a rail siding in the West Texas town of Sierra Blanca.

    MANY RAN OFF
    The trailer had arrived at the truck stop about an hour before authorities got a call about an unspecified disturbance there around 2 a.m.
    Many of the survivors ran off when the doors were opened, but some of the 39 in U.S. custody told consular officials that smugglers had loaded them aboard the trailer Tuesday in Harlingen, Texas. Apparently the immigrants had been smuggled over the border, then assembled in Harlingen, where they were to be trucked to Houston.
    While the trailer was being pulled the refrigerated truck's air conditioning worked well. But when the driver unhooked his cab and abandoned the trailer, the cramped container quickly became an airless tomb.
    The "vast majority" of the immigrants are from Mexico, though there are also people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Nunez said.
    Shelby said more than 100 people had been packed into the trailer.
    Ratcliff said four of them were hospitalized in Victoria with heat-related injuries, while another 40 were staying at a temporary shelter in the city. He said authorities bought a cake for a 15-year-old girl who was rescued on her birthday.
    Jerrel Robinowich, spokesman for DeTar Hospital Navarro, said the trailer had little or no ventilation "and you can just imagine the consequences of that."
    The National Weather Service said it was 74 degrees with 93 percent humidity at 2 a.m. Wednesday. The high Tuesday was 91, one degree shy of a record for the date.
    Ibarrola, Mexico's consul in Houston, said the tragedy hit him hard.
    "I have just seen the most horrible thing of my life ... It's terrible, indescribable," he was quoted by The Houston Chronicle as saying. "These are people who came to work and found death."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.



    What's on MSNBC TV

    Hardball, Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
    "’ Police say they may never know what killed Laci Peterson. Legal experts on whether this is good or bad news for the prime suspect. Inside the case with Hardball with Chris Matthews, 7 p.m. ET

  2. #2
    Guest
    MSNBC STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
    VICTORIA, Texas, May 15 "” As authorities searched Thursday for two people tied to the immigrant smuggling operation that left 18 people dead, details surfaced about the horrific conditions inside the big rig that was crammed with some 100 people. The rig's owner, meanwhile, was charged Thursday with transporting illegal immigrants, many of whom were from Mexico. That country's consul in Houston lamented that while the immigrants had sought work, they instead "found death." \

    ˜These are people who came to work and found death.'
    "” EDUARDO IBARROLA
    Mexico's consul in Houston LOCKED INSIDE the back of the sweltering, airless semitrailer, one person was able to dial 911 on a cell phone and pleaded for help in Spanish. But by the time a South Texas police dispatcher found someone to translate, the call had been lost.
    Minutes later, another immigrant hung a bandanna out of a hole in the trailer's back door as it sped north on U.S. Highway 77. Another motorist saw the signal, but his mobile phone wasn't working, so he couldn't call authorities in time.
    When the trailer's door was opened early Wednesday, 17 people had lost their lives in one of the deadliest cases of human smuggling in U.S. history. A 91-year-old man later died from a heart attack soon after arriving at a hospital.
    "This is a serious, serious crime," Bob Wallis, the region's top immigration official, said Wednesday at the truck stop outside Victoria, where sheriff's deputies made the gruesome discovery.

    TRAILER OWNER HELD
    Advertisement



    Authorities said the trailer's owner, Tyrone Williams of Schenectady, N.Y., was arrested Wednesday in the Houston area, about 115 miles northeast of Victoria.
    Williams' wife, Karen, told the Houston Chronicle that her husband normally hauls watermelons from the border to the Northeast. She said her husband told her the trailer was hijacked and that he dropped the trailer "for his own safety and ran."
    Officials weren't convinced of that explanation, and a federal complaint was filed Thursday charging Williams with transporting and harboring aliens and conspiracy to transport and harbor aliens, Victoria County District Attorney M.P. "Dexter" Eaves told NBC's "Today" show.
    Michael Shelby, U.S. attorney in Houston, said authorities were looking for a white male and a dark-skinned, possibly Hispanic, woman.
    Thirteen bodies were found inside the trailer and four more were on the ground just outside. A boy, 5 or 6 years old, was among the dead.
    The smugglers apparently unhitched the trailer at the Victoria truck stop, about 175 miles from the Mexican border, and drove off. Insulation around several small holes in the back door was scraped away, suggesting the immigrants from Mexico and Central America had tried to claw their way to more air.
    "In desperation, the people said they broke out the truck's taillights, to try and attract someone's attention and perhaps get some air," said Marco Nunez, press officer for Eduardo Ibarrola, Mexico's consul in Houston. Ibarrola interviewed some of the survivors.
    Some of the victims were said to have torn off their clothes because of the unbearable heat.

    MISSED CHANCES TO HELP
    The 911 call came in to police in Kingsville, 100 miles south of Victoria, just before midnight Tuesday from a Spanish speaker on a cellular phone. There was lots of yelling and background noise.
    Police Chief Sam Granato said the dispatcher passed the call to someone who spoke Spanish, but the call was cut off and the number couldn't be traced. But after listening to a digital recording, Granato said police were able to hear the man saying that people were suffocating.
    "He kept saying that over and over again," said Granato, adding that the man also said "help me" and "there's nine down."
    Granato said someone traveling on the highway called police to report seeing a hand waving a bandanna out of a hole in the back of a white 18-wheeler with New York plates. Granato said it wasn't until a teletype came in from Victoria on Wednesday afternoon about the white 18-wheeler that dispatchers connected the calls.



    It was the deadliest immigrant-smuggling attempt in the United States in more than 15 years. In 1987, the Border Patrol found 18 Mexican immigrants dead in a boxcar left on a rail siding in the West Texas town of Sierra Blanca.

    MANY RAN OFF
    The trailer had arrived at the truck stop about an hour before authorities got a call about an unspecified disturbance there around 2 a.m.
    Many of the survivors ran off when the doors were opened, but some of the 39 in U.S. custody told consular officials that smugglers had loaded them aboard the trailer Tuesday in Harlingen, Texas. Apparently the immigrants had been smuggled over the border, then assembled in Harlingen, where they were to be trucked to Houston.
    While the trailer was being pulled the refrigerated truck's air conditioning worked well. But when the driver unhooked his cab and abandoned the trailer, the cramped container quickly became an airless tomb.
    The "vast majority" of the immigrants are from Mexico, though there are also people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Nunez said.
    Shelby said more than 100 people had been packed into the trailer.
    Ratcliff said four of them were hospitalized in Victoria with heat-related injuries, while another 40 were staying at a temporary shelter in the city. He said authorities bought a cake for a 15-year-old girl who was rescued on her birthday.
    Jerrel Robinowich, spokesman for DeTar Hospital Navarro, said the trailer had little or no ventilation "and you can just imagine the consequences of that."
    The National Weather Service said it was 74 degrees with 93 percent humidity at 2 a.m. Wednesday. The high Tuesday was 91, one degree shy of a record for the date.
    Ibarrola, Mexico's consul in Houston, said the tragedy hit him hard.
    "I have just seen the most horrible thing of my life ... It's terrible, indescribable," he was quoted by The Houston Chronicle as saying. "These are people who came to work and found death."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.



    What's on MSNBC TV

    Hardball, Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
    "’ Police say they may never know what killed Laci Peterson. Legal experts on whether this is good or bad news for the prime suspect. Inside the case with Hardball with Chris Matthews, 7 p.m. ET

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