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San Antonio Tragedy Refocuses Attention On Human Smuggling In Texas

Eight people died at the scene and 30 others were transported to San Antonio hospitals in an apparent ill-fated human smuggling operation.

Ten people died in sweltering heat in a semi-trailer that was found early Sunday in a Walmart parking lot on the South side of San Antonio.

A total of 39 people – likely migrants in a human smuggling operation  – were found in the trailer by police upon arrival at the scene. Survivors were rushed to seven area hospitals to receive treatment for heat-related illnesses including heat stroke, dehydration and asphyxiation.

What led to this incident? How common is human smuggling in Texas? Could changes to U.S. immigration policy prevent future tragedies? 


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.