Chinese Migrants Found Hiding in Appliances at US Border Crossing

December 10, 2019 Updated: December 10, 2019

SAN DIEGO—Eleven Chinese migrants were discovered hiding in furniture and appliances inside a truck stopped by agents as it entered the United States from Mexico at a Southern California border crossing, federal officials said.

At least one person was crammed inside a washing machine and another was curled up inside a wooden chest, according to photos provided on Dec. 9 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Authorities searched the truck on Saturday evening at the border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, the federal agency said.

The truck driver, a 42-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested on suspicion of human smuggling, a Customs and Border Protection statement said. He was not identified.

Epoch Times Photo
This photo released on Dec. 9, 2019 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows a person hiding inside a wooden chest, among 11 Chinese nationals found by CBP agents hiding in furniture and appliances inside a moving truck stopped on Dec. 7, while entering the U.S. from Mexico at the San Ysidro border crossing near San Diego, federal officials said. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

The 11 Chinese citizens were detained pending criminal and immigration proceedings, the statement said.

“These are human beings that smugglers subject to inhumane conditions that could have deadly consequences,” Pete Flores, director of field operations in San Diego for Customs and Border Protection, said in the statement. “Fortunately no one was seriously injured.”

Six Chinese nationals were found last month at the same border crossing concealed behind a false wall in a truck trying to enter the United States, officials have said.