PHOTO: TX Police Find Smuggling Victim Stuffed in Suitcase

Human smuggling victim inside suitcase | Photo by County Constable Jimmy Fullen/Facebook

Law enforcement deployed as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s ongoing Operation Lone Star shared a shocking photo of an unlawful smuggling victim being transported inside a suitcase across a Texas border region.

Galveston County Constable Jimmy Fullen posted the photo, which he said was shared with him by a Kinney County Deputy working with OLS, on Facebook.

Fullen told The Dallas Express the photo was circulated among law enforcement in the region and was originally taken by Border Patrol in Uvalde, Texas, just 40 miles from Bracketville, the county seat of Kinney County.

As The Dallas Express has previously reported, Kinney is a small rural county located between Del Rio and Eagle Pass. Smugglers have sought to bypass these more fortified cities by moving illicit goods and people through the less secure, rural county, turning it into a major human smuggling corridor and prompting federal and state law enforcement to beef up security in the area.

The photo highlights the shocking conditions that smuggling victims endure as they cross from Mexico into Texas unlawfully. Often, this black market human smuggling economy becomes deadly for its victims, as noted by the United Nations.

The International Organization for Migration found that 686 unlawful migrants disappeared in 2022, making it the deadliest land route that IOM has on record. The organization added that it utilizes the most conservative estimates available and that “many more” deaths are likely but remain unreported.

Border Patrol documented 140,000 unlawful migrant apprehensions between official ports of entry in February 2024, up 124,000 from January 2024. This comes on the heels of a record-shattering 2.5 million encounters with unlawful migrants for fiscal year 2023.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision Tuesday night once again blocking the enforcement of SB4, which allows law enforcement officers to arrest suspected unlawful migrants, as reported by The Dallas Express.

The court had previously issued an administrative stay on the law, which would have allowed Texas to enforce it, but gave the federal government time to appeal to the Supreme Court. Following yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court, which would have allowed Texas to enforce its new border law, a majority of a panel from the Fifth Circuit voted to lift the administrative stay it had previously issued and set oral argument for March 20.

Judge Andrew Oldham dissented from the panel’s decision, stating that he would have left the stay in place “pending tomorrow’s oral argument on the question.”

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