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Biden slams Abbott for 'political grandstanding' after discovery of dead illegal migrants in truck

On Monday, the Texas Gov. said the deaths were "on Biden."

Published: June 28, 2022 1:37pm

Updated: June 28, 2022 3:29pm

President Joe Biden on Tuesday accused Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott of "political grandstanding" for blaming him for the deaths of suspected illegal immigrants found dead inside an abandoned tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas.

On Monday night, Abbott tweeted that the deaths are "on Biden."

"They are a result of his deadly open border policies," he also posted. "They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law."

Biden, who is attending a NATO summit in Spain, responded to Abbott's statement saying, "Exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful, as is political grandstanding around tragedy, and my Administration will continue to do everything possible to stop human smugglers and traffickers from taking advantage of people who are seeking to enter the United States between ports of entry."

The victims were apparently trying to enter the U.S. with the help of a smuggler or smugglers. 

Hours prior to the Abbott's statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that the administration was focused on holding the smugglers who endanger "vulnerable individuals for profit" accountable.

Despite record a record number of illegal border crossings every month since Biden took office, Jean-Pierre added, "the fact of the matter is, the border is closed."

Mexican officials confirmed early Tuesday that 50 migrants died in the back of the overheated truck – including 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans, and two Hondurans. Sixteen additional individuals were hospitalized due to heat-sickness. 

"Far too many lives have been lost on this dangerous journey," said Jean-Pierre, echoing past remarks of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. "We will continue to take action to disrupt human smuggling networks, which have no regard for lives. They exploit and endanger to make a profit."

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