SAN ANTONIO – The acting director of ICE released a statement following the tragic discovering of 38 immigrants in a semi-struck on San Antonio’s southwest side.

Thomas Homan addressed the tragedy where eight people were found dead at the scene, 17 hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and 13 sent to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Statement from ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan below:

“By any standard, the horrific crime uncovered last night ranks as a stark reminder of why human smuggling networks must be pursued, caught and punished. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations works year-round to identify, dismantle, and disrupt the transnational criminal networks that smuggle people into and throughout the United States. These networks have repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for those they smuggle, as last night’s case demonstrates. I personally worked on a tragic tractor trailer case in Victoria, Texas in 2003 in which 19 people were killed as a result of the smugglers’ total indifference to the safety of those smuggled and to the law.

The men and women of ICE are proud to stand alongside our law enforcement partners, including locally and at the U.S. Department of Justice, to combat these smuggling networks and protect the public and those who would fall victim to their dangerous practices that focus solely on their illicit profits. So long as I lead ICE, there will be an unwavering commitment to use law enforcement assets to put an end to these practices.”

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Human smuggling networks pose a threat to our homeland and a serious public safety threat by their reckless disregard for the health and safety of those smuggled, according to the statement.

Homeland Security has taken over the San Antonio case and one individual is in federal custody.

To report suspected human smuggling activity, contact the ICE hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or local law enforcement.