LAS CRUCES – U.S. Customs and Border Police announced the arrest of 69 migrants hidden in a tractor trailer.
On Friday, a CBP press release said agents at the immigration checkpoint on Interstate 25 had encountered the semi-trailer early Thursday morning.
“Due to the conflicting history and nervous behavior of the driver, the agents referred the driver to the secondary control lane for further investigation,” the press release said.
Finally, agents discovered 69 people in the trailer. The press release said agents also confiscated over $ 11,000 from the truck.
The press release also states that the driver of the vehicle, a US citizen, has been turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for criminal prosecution. He is currently being held in the Doña Ana County Detention Center.
In addition, it was found that the 69 migrants can be deported under Title 42. While Trump-era policies were suspended by a federal judge in September, another judge allowed the Biden administration to continue to expel migrants under the rule.
Title 42 was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2020 under the guise of a pandemic health policy. Since the 2020 elections, the Biden administration has continued to use Trump-era policies that allow customs and border guards to evict migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in detention facilities.
“These types of nefarious acts by transnational criminal organizations operating in the El Paso area demonstrate once again the total disregard for the lives of migrants,” said Gloria Chavez, Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector, in the press release. “I am very proud of the extraordinary work of our Las Cruces agents and our HSI partners. The joint reaction of our agents prevented a terrible tragedy from occurring. “
Justin Garcia is a public safety reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 575-541-5449 or on Twitter at @ Just516garc.