Illegal immigrant deaths at U.S.-Mexico border on pace to reach record high

Border Patrol agents are dealing with record numbers of entries, rescues, and deaths at a time when the agency is also trying to manage chronic understaffing.

Left: Laredo Sector agents provide aid to a lost migrant south of Laredo in August. Right: Agents rescue a stranded migrant from the Baboquivari Mountains near Tucson in July. (Customs and Border Protection/Twitter)

Deaths at the U.S.-Mexico border could very well surpass a record set 16 years ago, the Washington Times has reported.

Through the month of July, the U.S. Border Patrol has recorded 383 deaths at the border “from all causes,” more than the entire fiscal years of 2019 and 2020, which saw 300 and 253 deaths respectively.

And there are still two months of data in fiscal year 2021 to be collected and published.

The record for border deaths was set in 2005, when 492 illegal immigrants perished at the U.S.-Mexico border. If the number of border crossings continues to remain significantly elevated — and there is no reason to believe it will not — total deaths in 2021 will most certainly overtake the 2005 record.

“The deaths used to be concentrated in a few of the Border Patrol’s nine sectors. The Tucson, Laredo and Rio Grande sectors accounted for almost all the tally,” the Washington Times reports. “This year, though, the spread of misery has been striking. Every one of the nine sectors has recorded double-digit death tolls.”

Many border crossers perish in the sweltering desert heat, by falling from the border wall, or by taking risks to avoid Border Patrol checkpoints, the report says.

Increased crossings lead to increased deaths, though they also lead to increased rescues. The Border Patrol has already set a record high in the number of rescues performed. Through July, the number of rescues (10,528) was practically double the number in all of 2020 (5,333).

Border Patrol agents are dealing with record numbers of entries, rescues, and deaths at a time when the agency is also trying to manage chronic understaffing. Alpha News has previously reported on the physical and mental toll the entire situation has taken on its agents.

Record deaths and overcrowded detention facilities show that mass illegal immigration, sometimes implicitly encouraged by one political party in particular, leads to increased suffering for everyone involved, particularly the illegal immigrants themselves. The Border Patrol is dealing with nothing short of a humanitarian crisis.