EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – With more crashes involving immigrant smugglers in the Borderland, one local expert warns of potential danger in school zones.

Victor Manjarrez Jr., director of the Center of Law and Human Behavior at UTEP, says there is a growing concern that vehicles that are smuggling in undocumented immigrants could possibly start driving through school zones.

However, officials at El Paso Independent School District say that they are equipped to handle the situation.

Manjarrez, says those inside the vehicle will not stop for law enforcement because of inexperience driving and past experiences with law enforcement. Throw in that they may be driving in an unfamiliar area, and you have the perfect recipe for car crashes, he said.

Now Manjarrez is worried about these kinds of incidents near schools.

“These vehicle stops if they’re near schools do not stop and take off and not stop for law enforcement, they’re not very experienced and they’re not looking at their surroundings and god forbid they go through a school zone at the wrong time,” Manjarrez said.

Manjarrez believes that this all stems from a chaotic border right now and expects more of what are called bailouts to been seen in the near future. KTSM did reach out to a the El Paso Independent School District asking about the safety precautions in place already and if they are prepared for a potential threat like this one and they responded with a statement.

“El Paso ISD has safety and security protocols in place to mitigate the risks of speed in school areas and to ensure the safety of pedestrians,” the statement read.

EPISD also said they will continue to enforce these practices through the EPISD police department, school administration and partnerships with local law enforcement agencies.

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