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Juárez police find large groups of migrants in stash houses, including 140 in one home

Immigrant communities in Austin say they are preparing for the potential of sweeps by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week. (Michael Johnson/ICE/TNS)

Juárez police have been rescuing huge groups of migrants locked in sweltering stash houses recently, including finding 140 people at one location.

The migrants are often crowded into small homes with little or no air-conditioning amid 100-degree temperatures baking the Juárez-El Paso border region.

The latest discovery took place this week when police rescued 80 undocumented migrants after responding to a 911 call about people yelling for help from inside a house, authorities said.

The migrants were found dehydrated and disoriented inside a house with security bars on its windows in the Salvarcar neighborhood in eastern Juárez, police said.

Several ambulances went to the scene to help treat the migrants, who police suspected were being held against their will. The migrants were from Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador.

“Polleros,” or migrant smugglers, generally hold migrants at stash houses before they can be taken over the border into the United States.

Juárez police said they found about 140 migrants June 9 in an unfinished plywood house set up as a carpentry shop in what police described as “deplorable conditions” and extreme heat in the Felipe Ángeles area, across the border from Sunset Heights in El Paso. The migrants were discovered after police received an anonymous tip.

The group was made up of 117 men, 12 women and 11 children. Ninety-nine were from Guatemala, 17 from Nicaragua, 12 from El Salvador, six from Ecuador, five from Honduras and two were Mexican, according to a police statement.

In another case that week in early June, police responding to a 911 call found 66 migrants who had not eaten for days inside an Ampliación Fronteriza home near the mountain in western Juárez, police reported.

The migrants were 42 men, 20 women and four infants from Honduras, Guatemala and Ecuador, police said.

In connection with the case, police arrested six suspected smugglers, including a 25-year-old man who allegedly fired gunshots into the air after a traffic crash before the arrival of police.

Police also arrested five people allegedly tasked with feeding and caring for the migrants. Those arrested were: a 57-year-old man, three women, ages 45, 24 and 20, and a teenager.

The migrants in all cases were taken a shelter set up inside a municipal gym.


(c) 2021 the El Paso Times

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.