Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick blames Democrats for deaths involved in human smuggling case

Patrick: Deaths made possible by "Democrat policies of today of an open border"

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - In an interview with Fox News Tuesday morning, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick blamed the deaths of 10 and the injuries of 29 undocumented immigrants who were trapped in a sweltering trailer found in San Antonio Sunday morning on “Democratic policies of today.”

“This is a horrendous tragedy that should never happen in America, but our policies from the last administration and, quite frankly, Democrat policies of today of an open border,” Patrick said in the interview with Fox & Friends. “Sanctuary cities allows and enables these drug smugglers who don’t care about human life to put people in this horrific situation.”

Hours after discovering the tractor-trailer in a Walmart parking lot on the city’s Southwest Side, officials said they believe more than 100 people were packed into the broiling trailer.

NEW ON KSAT.COM: Survivor in smuggling deaths shares harrowing details about truck, trip

Eight undocumented immigrants were found dead in the back of the trailer hauled by human smuggling suspect James M. Bradley Jr.’s 18-wheeler, with two of the 31 survivors rescued from the trailer having since died.

As a result of the charges, Bradley could face the death penalty or life in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

In a Facebook post shared hours after the incident on Sunday, Patrick said sanctuary cities such as San Antonio “entice people to believe they can come to America and Texas and live outside the law.”

“Sanctuary cities also enable human smugglers and cartels. Today, these people paid a terrible price and demonstrate why we need a secure border and legal immigration reform so we can control who enters our country,” Patrick said in his Facebook post.

On May 7, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB4, better known as the “sanctuary cities bill,” allowing law enforcement officials to ask people during routing stops about their immigration status.

The controversial bill, which goes into effect on Sept. 1, also threatens with jail the law-enforcement officials who choose not to comply with federal immigration agents.

TOP STORY ON KSAT.COM: Custom truck shop blasted online for selling big rig to human smuggling suspect, owner says

City officials and local law enforcement have since condemned the bill, with San Antonio Police Chief William McManus voicing his disapproval one day after Gov. Abbott signed the “show me your papers” bill into law.



"That leads to racial profiling. Profiling could lead to lawsuits. I mean, it's just my opinion," McManus said in a press conference on May 7. "There's nothing positive that this bill does in the community or in law enforcement."

Texas Democratic Rep. Eddie Rodriguez took to Twitter to fire back by saying Patrick “took his response too far. The deaths of 10 people calls for solemnity & respect, not self-indulgent cheerleading.”

On Monday, a federal complaint was filed against Bradley, alleging he "unlawfully transported aliens in violation of law, resulting in the death of 10 of the aliens transported."




Don't miss a thing. Get email alerts from KSAT12 today.
Get alerted to news events as they happen or sign up for a scheduled news headline email that is delivered right to your inbox. Breaking news, severe weather, daily forecasts, entertainment news, all of the day’s important events to keep you up to date wherever you are.

Sign up today. It's Free.

Copyright 2017 by KSAT - All rights reserved.