Border Patrol agents in Sierra Blanca encountered the tractor-trailer on Thursday during a traffic check at an immigration checkpoint on I-10, U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) said in a statement.
A non-intrusive K-9 inspection alerted agents to a potential smuggling scheme and the vehicle was checked further. Agents checked the trailer and found 49 migrants from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru hiding inside, the agency said.
“Checkpoint operations are vital to monitoring the egress of illegal activity into the United States,” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean L. McGoffin said. “Agents and their K-9 partners were able to positively identify a large smuggling scheme, saving multiple individuals from a potentially dangerous situation.”
The driver, whom authorities said was a visa holder, was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for prosecution.
Elsewhere in Texas, a flood of migrants set up a camp underneath a bridge in Del Rio last week. U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, told Fox News on Saturday that the number of predominantly Haitian migrants camping there in squalid conditions is approaching 15,000.
The Biden administration has been facing a surge in migration since taking office, which has hit a high of more than 200,000 encounters a month in both July and August.
The administration has blamed the Trump administration’s ending of legal asylum pathways, as well as “root causes” like violence, poverty and corruption. Meanwhile, Republicans have blamed the chaos at the border on Biden’s reversal of Trump-era immigration policies.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.