Six Chinese nationals were arrested by U.S Customs and Border Protection officers (CBP) after attempting to illegally enter the country at the San Ysidro port, officials said on Nov. 9.
They had been concealed in a false wall of a moving truck that entered the port from Mexico on Nov.7, according to a press release.
The incident occurred around 12 p.m., when a 23-year-old male U.S. citizen arrived at the San Ysidro border in a truck and officers began inspecting the vehicle as it waited in line.
During the inspection, a CBP officer noticed that the rear door of the moving truck was ajar and a canine team alerted officers to the false wall.
Officers began opening the wall with a screwdriver and soon found a person hiding behind it.
The driver was immediately removed from the truck and taken to a secure area for further processing while officers drove the vehicle to a secure location and removed the false wall entirely.
A total of six Chinese nationals were freed from the vehicle.
The driver has since been taken into custody and transported to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to await criminal charges.
Officers also arrested the six Chinese nationals. They may also face criminal and immigration proceedings, officials said.
Speaking of the incident, CBP Director of Field Operations for San Diego, Pete Flores, said: “We routinely encounter persons from all over the world attempting to enter our country illegally.
“This incident serves as another example of the inhumane tactics smugglers will utilize in order to circumvent our laws. Fortunately, in this instance, no one was seriously injured.”
The U.S.–Mexico border has the highest number of both legal and illegal crossings of any land border in the world except for the Canada-U.S. border, according to Border Legislators.
Owing to its high demand, smuggling has become a billion-dollar business and smugglers can earn between $1,500 to $15,000 per person.
Many Chinese nationals who cannot obtain a U.S. travel visa legally choose to go through the Mexico border instead.
Earlier this year in April, The Epoch Times spent 24 hours with Border Patrol in a small area of southeast Texas that has become a hot spot for illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border.
During this time, Border Patrol apprehended more than 1,000 illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley Sector alone.
One Chinese man who was captured, Dong Jin Shun, said he paid $15,000 to fly to Mexico and cross the border illegally, and planned to claim asylum from persecution.
When asked why he didn’t just fly directly into the United States, he said “I don’t know. We all fly this way,” adding that a friend in Beijing put him in contact with a smuggler.