Good Company

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A container full of homeland insecurity

Reported here:
Federal authorities and translators are talking with 22 illegal immigrants who were found inside a 40-foot cargo container at the Port of Seattle Wednesday morning after a trip across the Pacific, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reported.
The 22 Chinese nationals who arrived on a ship from Shanghai were believed to be part of a human smuggling operation, officials said.

Port of Seattle security guards spotted the 18 men and four women about 1 a.m. at Terminal 18, determined that they were not crew members from the recently arrived cargo ship Rotterdam and summoned federal authorities, said Michael Milne, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

All appeared in their 20s and 30s and in good physical condition after about two weeks in a 40-foot container that was loaded onto the ship in Shanghai, Milne said.

"There was plenty of food and water," he said. "The conditions are certainly not deluxe, but everyone came off in apparently good health."
The idea is that the containers are supposed to be inspected before they arrive in the US - that is to say at the loading port. Penalties should be imposed on ports whose inspection standards allow this sort of thing to happen...

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