Immigration reform is receiving extra attention this week, after a traffic accident near Goliad, Texas, took the lives of fifteen illegal immigrants on board, according to the East Texas area news source the Longview News-Journal.
The pickup, carrying twenty-three people native to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala, slammed into a tree after blowing a tire and veering off the road 145 miles north of the Mexican/U.S. border in southern Texas, The New York Times reported.
Because the individuals on board were undocumented and in the United States illegally, authorities have not been able to identify all of the victims, according to the source.
Accidents like these are not uncommon, as illegal immigrants often cram into overcrowded vehicles heading into the United States in an attempt to bypass U.S. authorities.
“There have been a number of accidents,” spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Gregory Palmore said. “Even if there’s one fatality, there’s more than there should be.”
The U.S. ICE investigates all fatal crashes involving undocumented immigrants.
The U.S. immigration policy “often makes it difficult and time-consuming for law-abiding immigrants to enter our country in a timely manner,” delaying many people from obtaining a green card to legally work in the United States, reported the source.
Though people who enter the United States illegally are breaking the law, many view the accident as an indication that immigration policy needs to be changed. They call for political officials to “overcome any political sluggishness” regarding the issue and keep it at the utmost importance, the source said.
Concerned citizens call upon officials to consider economic and criminal factors in the United States and abroad that drive people to enter the country illegally when considering immigration reform.