U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has begun a human smuggling investigation into the crash of a big rig and an SUV on a California highway. The SUV was crammed with 25 migrants from Mexico, 13 of whom died in the crash.
Special agents from Homeland Security Investigations San Diego are on the scene picking through debris for evidence.
The collision occurred about 11 miles from the Mexican border. The migrants apparently boarded the SUV on the American side of the border after cutting a hole in the border fence.
The area is well known as a smuggling corridor, but the border patrol says they were not pursuing the SUV when it crashed.
Police arrived to find some of the passengers trying to crawl out of the crumpled 1997 Ford Expedition — which normally seats eight — while others were wandering around the nearby fields. Officials added that the SUV’s back seats were removed to create more space for passengers.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers found 12 people dead at the scene. Another person died at a local hospital, authorities said. The remaining eight victims with injuries were transported to local hospitals.
“It was a pretty chaotic scene,” said CHP Chief Omar Watson.
Mexican officials have confirmed the identities of ten of the victims.
Authorities do not yet know if the driver of the SUV stopped at a stop sign before crossing into the path of the big rig around 6:15 a.m., Watson told reporters. It was also not immediately known why so many people were crammed into a vehicle built to hold eight people.
“It was an unusual number of people in an SUV, but we don’t know who they were,” said Mora.
If 25 people were inside the 1997 Ford Expedition, it would have easily exceeded the maximum payload limit of 2,000 pounds, said Frank Borris, former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation.
I doubt whether the smugglers had “safety first” uppermost in their minds.
With a president easing off on border enforcement, Mexicans are rushing to get here before the next crackdown comes. And yes, a crackdown will become necessary when facilities to house people on the border are over capacity and Biden will be forced to try and plug the holes in the border that his policies will have created.
The president has created a situation where he can’t possibly meet the expectations of people trying to cross the border. Biden’s plan to legalize 11 million people has set off a stampede that is going to end in tragedy when a humanitarian crisis occurs.
Biden and the Democrats will blame Trump. But it’s their own arrogance and hubris that will be responsible as they thought they could sow the wind without reaping the whirlwind.