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San Antonio Incident Highlights Political Disagreement on Immigration Reform

State politicians say the tragedy illustrates the need for immigration reform – although predictably they disagree on the details.

Mia Gonzalez holds a flower and artificial candle as she takes part in a vigil at San Fernando Cathedral for victims who died as a result of being transported in a tractor-trailer, Sunday, July 23, 2017, in San Antonio. Several people died after being crammed into a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, authorities said Sunday in what they described as an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


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Poncho Nevárez is the State representative for District 74.

It covers about 500 miles out of the 1200 miles of border where Texas and Mexico meet.

Nevárez says when it comes to smuggling incidents like the one in San Antonio, border security isn't the problem.

"I don't believe this stuff is in anyway related to border security or sanctuary cities. We've been having this type of smuggling event for years and years," Nevárez says.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick disagrees.

He wrote in a statement on Facebook that, "... 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."

Nevárez says what causes people to come across under harsh conditions is the desire to get work, and that's what policies need to focus on.

"If we had some sort of better policy for immigration purposes, folks like that who are coming over here to work wouldn't feel compelled to smuggle themselves in a trailer," Nevárez says.

The driver is charged with illegally transporting immigrants.

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