Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has lashed out and blamed President Joe Biden for the deaths of 46 migrants whose bodies were found abandoned in a tractor-trailer in sizzling temperatures in a suspected smuggling attempt.
Hours after the bodies were discovered in the back of an 18-wheeler in San Antonio Monday evening, the Republican governor fired off a tweet saying, “These deaths are on Biden.”
“They are a result of his deadly open border policies,” he added. “They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”
A number of fellow Republicans also blamed Biden’s immigration policies for the tragedy, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeting, “How many more people have to die before Dems give a damn?”
“Today in San Antonio it was 102 degrees. Imagine being abandoned inside an 18-wheeler left to die … will [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas] even mention their names?” Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) tweeted.
The bodies were only discovered after a city worker heard a cry for help from the truck shortly before 6 p.m., Police Chief William McManus said.
Officers arrived to find one of the bodies on the ground outside the trailer. By nightfall, dozens of body bags lay spread across the ground and some of the victims were still inside the trailer.
Authorities said 16 survivors, including four children, were rushed to hospital to be treated for heat-related illnesses. Fire Chief Charles Hood said the patients were hot to the touch and dehydrated.
“They were suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion,” Hood said. “It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, but there was no visible working AC unit on that rig.”
Temperatures in San Antonio reached a high of 103 Monday amid an ongoing heat wave.
Three people were taken into custody, but it wasn’t clear what their involvement was.