After conducting a raid at a Fort Worth, Texas home just before Christmas, the FBI found that 21 illegal immigrants were safe and two suspects are in custody. According to the FBI, the house was believed to be used as a stopping point for a human trafficking operation.
The 1800 block of Miller Avenue was raided by FBI agents on the evening of December 21. They found anywhere from 21 to 27 illegal immigrants, including some from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Guatemala.
According to Domingo Garcia (national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens), the group of illegal immigrants, which included a pregnant woman, and a 3-year-old girl, were “stripped naked and unfed, cold, and terrified and held hostage”.
Hilda Duarte also from LULAC explained that their clothes were taken “to keep them from fleeing and leaving the house.”
They stayed in the same home. According to reports, they had been staying at the home for at least two days without food. The conditions had become so dire that the 3-year-old girl, still nursing, was unable to eat because her mother had stopped producing milk.
The raid resulted in between 7 and 10 female victims, including the little girl. This means that the majority of the victims were male. The ages of all the victims were not released except for the little girl. However, there are no reports of minor males among them. The victims were provided with food, clothing, medical care, and shelter. LULAC also provided hotel rooms for the victims to stay warm.
Temporary immunity has been granted to all immigrants for the alleged crimes against them. They will be allowed to apply for asylum in America.
Two suspects were already arrested in connection with the raid. The FBI arrested Gonzalo Ramirez, 33, and Carlos Plata Ibarra, 35 years old at their Fort Worth home. Duarte and others called the men “coyotes”, a term used to describe smugglers who transport people across the southern U.S. frontier. They were both charged with smuggling persons. It is not clear when they will appear in court.