Border Patrol in Texas find 68 illegal immigrants in railcars, some covered in ‘white powdery substance’

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Border Patrol agents in Texas rescued dozens of illegal immigrants hiding in railcars in two separate human smuggling attempts this week, finding some migrants covered in a “white powdery substance,” officials said.

Agents in the Laredo Sector were conducting train inspections on Tuesday near Bruni discovered 19 individuals inside a car hauler trailer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a news release. The individuals were determined to be in the U.S. illegally from the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.

On Wednesday, agents conducted more train inspections near Hebbronville and discovered 15 illegal immigrants covered in a “white powdery substance,” the CBP said. 

Hebbronville firefighters and EMS helped to decontaminate the individuals, officials said.
(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Hebbronville firefighters and EMS helped identify the substance as clay and helped to decontaminate the individuals, officials said. It was unclear how they became covered in the clay.

Officials determined the "white powdery substance" that covered the illegal immigrants was clay.
(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Agents during that same inspection found an additional 34 migrants hiding inside several vehicles that were being transported inside the railcars. The migrants were also determined to be in the U.S. illegally from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.

In total, 68 illegal immigrants were found and no injuries were reported in either smuggling operation.

CBP officials have repeatedly warned that illegal entry into the U.S. through railcars is dangerous and often results in injury or death as migrants endure extreme heat while stuck in crowded, confined spaces at the mercy of criminal smugglers.

Agents in the Laredo Sector recently disrupted a smuggling attempt in which the smugglers used lemon pepper seasoning to hinder service K-9’s ability to detect any human scent, officials said. Individuals were found crammed inside wooden crates in a tractor-trailer.

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