Haven’t seen the last of it
The tableau of misery inside a tractor-trailer packed with undocumented immigrants at a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio last weekend was beyond horrific. At one point, before dozens of the migrants were offloaded by human traffickers, more than 100 people were crammed into the trailer’s lightless, nearly airless interior, baking in the south Texas summer heat and taking turns to suck air through a hole in the vehicle’s side. By the time police were summoned, early Sunday, eight people lay dead inside the trailer; two more died in the hospital in the ensuing 24 hours.
It is to be hoped that state and federal authorities will sweep up the traffickers responsible for this outrage in San Antonio and that sentences will be harsh.
The magnetic pull of the U.S. economy and its demand for low-wage, low-skilled labor has for decades attracted poverty-stricken workers from south of the border willing to take inordinate risks and enter into bargains with unscrupulous smugglers.
The Trump administration, so far at least, has managed to drive down the number of illegal border crossers, partly by toughening actual enforcement but mainly by jawboning—establishing an inhospitable political environment.
But not all have been or will be dissuaded.
Without an overhaul of the nation’s dysfunctional immigration laws, don’t expect illegal immigration or human trafficking or further terrible tragedies to end anytime soon.