Almost 750 migrants have died crossing the border this fiscal year

Nearly 750 migrants have died this fiscal year trying to make the perilous journey across the U.S. southern border — a grim new record that beats last year’s total by more than 200 people, according to Department of Homeland Security data.

With a month remaining for the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, there were 748 confirmed deaths among people crossing the southern border — a notable increase from the 557 deaths recorded in 2021 as the crossings past have increased sharply year, DHS officials told CNN.

The number of actual deaths is likely higher, as other local agencies often recover bodies without U.S. Customs and Border Protection involvement, CNN reported.

Just last week, nine migrants drowned trying to cross the rain-swollen Rio Grande at the Texas border, prompting CBP officials to ask would-be migrants not to make the dangerous journey.

Haitian immigrant families cross the Rio Grande to Del Rio, Texas
A record number of migrants have died trying to enter the United States.
Getty Images

According to CBP statistics, deaths at the border have increased dramatically in recent years. In 2020, the agency reported 247 deaths and 300 deaths in 2019. CBP has recorded deaths since 1998.

CBP officers arrested more than 181,000 people on the US southern border in July. So far this fiscal year, they’ve reported over 1.94 million encounters at the border, up from 1.73 encounters in all of 2021 and just over 458,000 in 2020.

Fernando García, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, told CNN that the increase in deaths could be related to desperate migrants taking more dangerous routes to the United States.

Migrants cross the border into El Paso, Texas as seen from Ciudad Juarez
Experts said desperate migrants could take more dangerous routes to the US, which could result in more deaths.
AFP via Getty Images
Members of Mexico's Grupo Beta Immigration Service participate in the rescue of a migrant found in a river in Reynosa, Mexico
The grim death toll exceeds last year’s total by more than 200, with a month remaining in this fiscal year.

CBP declined to comment on the shocking death toll to CNN, but said traffickers take advantage of migrants and sometimes leave them alone to die in harsh conditions.

“Smuggling organizations are leaving migrants in remote and dangerous areas, leading to an increase in the number of rescues but tragically also an increase in the number of deaths,” the agency said in a statement to the outlet. “The terrain along the border is extreme, the summer heat is intense, and the mile-long migrations of desert migrants after crossing the border in many areas are relentless.” Almost 750 migrants have died crossing the border this fiscal year


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