On Saturday night, July 22, 2017, a Wal-Mart employee contacted the local authorities with a concern regarding a person asking for water. As police arrived on the scene, a semitrailer parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot was found to be holding approximately 40 people, all having suffered in the hot cargo section of the semitrailer. The weather in San Antonio, Texas has been in the low 100s for the last week, dropping to the mid-80s around midnight, but in the stuffy confines of the back of a semitrailer, the temperature can certainly feel doubled. The truck had no air-conditioner.

The origins of the truck are unknown, but individuals were spilling out of the back. It is currently unknown if they had been locked in against their will or if they were simply tired of waiting in a hot enclosed area. In either case, 8 people were found dead among the group, 20 were in “critical condition,” and authorities claim that there are a total of 38 victims, 2 of which are school-age children.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement was called to the scene and is continuing an ongoing investigation regarding the identity of the traffickers and those trafficked. As of right now, no information regarding the identity of the victims have been released. The fact that this specific branch of Homeland Security has been dispatched to the case straightforwardly infers that this event is connected with immigration.

William McManus, Chief of the San Antonio Police Department, was on the scene, saying,

“[This incident] is not an isolated incident. This happens quite frequently … fortunately there are people who survived, but this happens all the time.”

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, whereby men, women, and children are subjected against their will via the forced prescription of drugs or brainwashing to submit to sexual exploitation and/or forced labor. One-third of the amount of human trafficking in Texas derives from Latin America, namely Mexico. Mexico is currently on the State Department’s Tier 2 watch list for human trafficking.

Illegal immigration must be stopped, and those who support stronger borders for the United States cannot be demonized, or else such atrocious incidents of human rights violations will continue. To put an end to this type of morally reprehensible behavior requires the commitment to a single decision by both the federal government and the national populace. Build. The. Wall.