Home > Border Jumpers > Feds investigate 40 immigrants found in SW Houston

Feds investigate 40 immigrants found in SW Houston


 

By DALE LEZON
Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
June 16, 2010, 11:58AM

Federal immigration officials are reviewing the immigration status of 40 people discovered in a southwest Houston house early this morning after a tip about gang activity led police to the house.

It is the second time this week officials have taken custody of people who appeared to be illegal immigrants being held in a Houston home.

The latest discovery was made about 12:30 a.m. at a house in the 12000 block of Fairmeadow, said Greg Palmore, a spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

At least two of the people being questioned by ICE investigators are thought to be suspects who were holding the others at the home, but it is unclear if the group was connected to a human smuggling operation.

The people found in the house this morning are from China, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, Palmore said. He said they are in ICE custody and each person’s immigration status is being investigated. Of the 40, 29 are males, including two juveniles, and 11 are female, including a pregnant juvenile, Palmore said..

Officials said a tip about gang-related activity taking place at the house led Houston police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other federal law enforcement agencies to the home.

No gang-related activity was discovered. The investigation was turned over to ICE when it was determined to be an immigration-related case.

ICE officials also are investigating the case of 9 people — including a 7-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl – who were found being held against their will at a home in the 5600 block of Corl about 11:45 p.m. Monday.

Police discovered the people after one of the hostages escaped through a window and called 911. Officials said three men in that case have been charged with aggravated kidnapping.

dale.lezon@chron.com

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