By: Anabelle Sanchez
On June 27th, 2022, a semi-truck carrying over 60 migrants was discovered in San Antonio, Texas. Of the more than 60 migrants, 53 were confirmed dead due to the unbearable heat. The migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras had illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexican border in hopes of reaching America despite the country’s strict immigration laws.
The discovery amplified concerns about immigration, especially in the state of Texas. Governor Greg Abbott had previously addressed the issue of illegal immigration in the state by enforcing inspections of vehicles entering Texas through the U.S.-Mexican border two months prior. However, it was soon revealed that the semi-truck carrying the migrants had entered the U.S. without such inspection. As a result, Governor Greg Abbott blamed President Joe Biden for not supplying enough resources at the border to ensure that security demands were met.
The number of immigrants entering the U.S. from south of the border has increased in recent years due to numerous factors including violence, economic instability, and the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump signed several executive orders against immigration during his presidency, such as the restriction of asylum, cracking down on sanctuary cities, and the enforcement of the “zero tolerance” policy. These facts led many migrants to attempt other tactics to enter the U.S., such as passing through the border without process. At the time of signing, human rights activists, politicians from both political parties, and people from the general public denounced his efforts coining them as inhumane.
Governor Greg Abbott stated in a news conference addressing the findings by saying that he would deploy more checkpoints in Southern Texas with the aid of the Texas Department of Public Safety as he reiterated that the deaths were “as a result of Biden’s deadly open border policies.” Abbott was quickly met with backlash by critics and was accused of weaponizing and politicizing the discovery. Critics have been on Abbott for the past month following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas in late May where 21 children and adults were killed in an elementary school. In a separate news conference addressing the school shooting at the time, Abbott was also accused of politicizing the shooting by shifting blame away from his office after being confronted and criticized by Democratic governor nominee Beto O’Rourke for inadequate gun control laws in Texas.
Governor Greg Abbott is up for reelection in the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election in November where he will face off with Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke. The recent events of the Uvalde school shooting, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and migrants found dead in a semi truck have demonstrated to many Texan voters that Governor Greg Abbott may not be the best candidate to lead Texas in the future.
Written by writer Anabelle Sanchez