officials are letting two dozen Mexican immigrants who survived
a deadly journey to Dallas in a tractor-trailer to stay and work
in the United States while prosecutors prepare the case against
are still deciding which immigrants will make the best witnesses
against the smugglers, who were charged with murder and human
trafficking after two immigrants died of heat stroke and dozens
were hospitalized in July following a 12-hour trip from El Paso
in an unventilated trailer.
have been named in a 64-count indictment in the case, including
two truckdrivers and seven others believed to be involved in the
smuggling operation based in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and El Paso.
If convicted, the drivers could face a maximum of life in prison
or the death penalty.
the need for witnesses when the cases come to trial, the INS granted
the immigrants "humanitarian parole," a status that
allows them to stay in the country for at least six months. The
INS also granted them permission to work, and many are awaiting
documents from the Social Security Administration before seeking