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After authorities found an 18-wheeler that carried up to 100 individuals abandoned in San Antonio, including at least 46 individuals who were deceased, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blamed President Joe Biden and his immigration policies.
In a tweet, Abbott said Monday evening’s discovery rests squarely on Biden. “At Least 42 People Found Dead Inside Truck Carrying Migrants In Texas. These deaths are on Biden,” Abbott said.
Two more migrants later died at a Texas hospital, officials said, bringing the total death toll to 48.
Gov. Greg Abbott points to a reporter during a press conference.
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
The Republican governor also criticized Biden for not doing enough to secure the southern border.
“They are a result of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law,” Abbott added.
Several other officials blamed the incident on Biden’s immigration policies, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who called the discovery “horrific” and “wrong.”
“How many more people have to die before Dems give a da–?” he asked, before making a reference to Biden’s border crisis.
Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Republican who represents Texas, also tweeted about the incident.
“Today in San Antonio it was 102 degrees. Imagine being abandoned inside an 18-wheeler left to die – 42 people died today – will @AliMayorkas even mention their names?” the lawmaker said, referencing Alejandro Mayorkas, who was nominated by Biden to lead the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.
“Death count rises to 46 with another 16 in the hospital, to include 4 kids. Lord when will the nightmare end,” the Republican added in another tweet.
Gonzales also called on Mayorkas to resign.
Sec. Mayorkas also responded to the incident on Twitter.
“I am heartbroken by the tragic loss of life today and am praying for those still fighting for their lives,” the Biden administration official said. “Far too many lives have been lost as individuals – including families, women, and children – take this dangerous journey.”
He also said ICE is investigating and called human smugglers “callous individuals who have no regard for the vulnerable people they exploit and endanger in order to make a profit.”
He vowed to hold those responsible accountable and to take further action to disrupt smuggling networks.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who is a registered Independent, also made a general reference to border policies being to blame.
“We know that there’s been increasing volumes [of migrants] over the last 6 months, 12 months related, you know, to the policies,” Nirenberg said, “but our work, again, is to provide humanitarian assistance.”
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg at the scene where a tractor-trailer with at least 46 bodies was found on June 27, 2022.
(San Antonio Police Department)
Nirenberg called Monday night’s discovery “nothing short of a horrific human tragedy.”
“The plight of migrants seeking refuge is always a humanitarian crisis but tonight we are dealing with a horrific human tragedy,” the mayor added Monday night, speaking near the location where the tractor-trailer was found.
“This is a far different situation than what we’ve seen,” he continued. “Our job is not to ask why, our job is to ask how we can help.”
Officials did not say whether the individuals were being transported from Mexico or elsewhere.
Gov. Greg Abbott tours the border along the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 23, 2022.
(Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Last week, Republican Rep. Andy Biggs described the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border as “overrun,” “out of control” and “dangerous” He also predicted more deaths would soon be discovered.
“There is going to be deaths,” the Arizona Republican told Harris Faulkner on “The Faulkner Focus” on June 21.
“It’s more than the monthly total who were sent to Mexico to await their asylum process, which, by the way, in most cases is going to be bogus. That’s what’s going on in the borders. It’s overrun right now,” Biggs added.
“All of that horrific inhumanity that goes on when you don’t secure your border,” he explained.
At least 16 people, including four children, were found alive in the tractor-trailer and were hospitalized. The Department of Homeland Security is investigating the incident.
Fox News’ Lorraine Taylor and Elizabeth Heckman contributed to this report.