US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said at least 464 immigrants died crossing the border from Mexico into the US during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The death toll was 43% higher than the previous year. “This total by far exceeds any year that we have on record,” said CBP spokesperson Mario Villarreal in a phone call from Washington. Villarreal said the main cause of death was heat exposure; more than half the deaths took place in Arizona during a heat wave in June and July of this year. Other causes of death included drownings or car wrecks. (Reuters, Oct. 3)
Human rights advocates protested the annual death toll on Sept. 30 by displaying posters along the border fence on the Tijuana beach, on California’s border with the Mexican state of Baja California Norte. The posters list the names of migrants found dead along the US-Mexico border over the past 11 years. (San Diego Union-Tribune, Oct. 1)
From Immigration News Briefs, Oct. 15
See our last post on the escalating border crisis.