SAN ANTONIO – Two recent incidents involving the discovery of migrants found trapped inside train cars doesn’t surprise U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales.
“Honestly, this isn’t a new issue for any of us that live along Highway 90,” said Gonzales, who represents District 23, where the discoveries were made.
On Friday, 17 migrants were found inside a train car east of Knippa in Uvalde County. Two people died and four others were hospitalized.
One day later in Eagle Pass, 12 migrants were found trapped in a train car in Eagle Pass. In that discovery, one person died and three others required hospitalization.
“Whether it’s Hondo or whether it’s Knippa, whether its D’Hanis, Uvalde, Eagle Pass, it’s literally every single week. Somebody is dying,” Gonzales said.
The Republican congressman said after illegally crossing into the US, migrants risk their lives by jumping onboard a train in Eagle Pass to avoid train inspections conducted at the US-Mexico border.
Gonzales said migrants tend to jump off the train cars in areas like Uvalde, Hondo, and Knippa. If migrants don’t die from extreme conditions inside the rail car and a lack of oxygen and water, they are severely injured.
“Last year in Uvalde, there was a 2-year-old girl that jumped off the train and she lost her arm. Her mother also jumped off a train and she lost her foot,” Gonzales said.
With warmer temperatures on the rise during spring and summer, Gonzales said so will the migrant death toll.
He said incidents like this are not only tragic due to loss of life and injury, they also take a toll on border communities.
“Imagine pulling bodies out of the train every single week. Imagine that you’re having to deal with this stress if you’re a firefighter or an EMS or a sheriff or a police officer. This is the stress being put on first responders, and it’s dangerous,” he said. “It’s the second- and third-order effects of this border crisis that is hurting our district, it’s hurting America in general, but it’s hurting those rural areas most.”