Texas lieutenant governor blames truck deaths on sanctuary cities that 'enable human smugglers'

- Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas, railed against sanctuary cities on Sunday after authorities in his state discovered eight people dead inside a sweltering tractor-trailer in a San Antonio Walmart parking lot and about 17 others in critical condition.

Patrick, a Republican, posted on Facebook that the ‘tragedy’ is why he pushed a bill to ban sanctuary cities.

"Sanctuary cities entice people to believe they can come to America and Texas and live outside the law. Sanctuary cities also enable human smugglers and cartels. Today, these people paid a terrible price and demonstrate why we need a secure border and legal immigration reform so we can control who enters our country. We continue to pray for the families and friends of the victims," he posted.

Authorities were called to the parking lot late Saturday or early Sunday and found eight people dead inside the truck. A ninth victim died at the hospital, said Liz Johnson, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The victims "were very hot to the touch. So these people were in this trailer without any signs of any type of water," San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said. Authorities would not say whether the trailer was locked when they arrived, but they said it had no working air conditioning.

It was just the latest smuggling-by-truck operation to end in tragedy. In one of the worst cases on record in the U.S., 19 immigrants locked inside a stifling rig died in Victoria, Texas, in 2003.

Continue reading this story at FOXNews.com

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