SAN ANTONIO — A tenth person found in the back of a trailer truck has died, in a suspected human trafficking case gone horribly wrong.
On Monday the driver of the truck appeared in court charged with “knowingly transporting illegal aliens”.
The debate has already begun on the cause of those unnecessary deaths. In a Facebook post, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick placed the blame at the feet of Sanctuary Cities which he says “entice people to believe they can come to America and Texas and live outside the law” and that they “enable human smugglers and cartels”.
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But Dallas attorney Eric Cedillo disagrees, saying illegal immigration crackdowns can actually encourage people to make the desperate trip.
“It can be a recruiting mechanism for a lot of these coyotes,” said Cedillo. “They can go into these small towns and say ‘look, before he builds the wall you need to make a move’. And that can be what prompts people to come on over, timely, pay a little bit more money, things of that nature.”
But in the midst of a decades old political fight, Cedillo hopes moments like this highlight the very human side of the issue.
“It’s a situation where we so easily say these people are undocumented, they’re criminal, they’re bad. It’s not true,” Cedillo said. “These people have families, they have loved ones, they have children, they have parents and hopefully that human sense of what’s going on so that we can stop these tragedies. They’re really preventable.”
It’s a tragedy everyone wants to prevent, but while the differences between the sides can be seen, the solutions to solve the problem couldn’t be farther apart.