Migrant Death Rate Under Trump 20 Percent Lower than Obama Years

Cindy Vanessa Mendez kneels over her father's body. Omar Mendez Perez died after being left behind by human smugglers after he fell ill and was unable to keep up. (Photo: Brooks County Sheriff's Office)
File Photo: Brooks County Sheriff's Office/Deputy Elias Pompa

Deaths of migrants who illegally crossed the border during the first two years of the Trump administration fell about 20 percent from the eight-year average under the Obama era. This is in sharp contrast to the political rhetoric of Democrat presidential candidates and certain media outlets decrying the treatment of migrants under President Donald Trump’s watch.

During the eight years of the Obama administration, 2,977 migrants died after illegally crossing the southwest border with Mexico — 372 per year on average, according to a report obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

During the first two complete fiscal years of the Trump administration, 581 migrants died — an average of 291 per year. Despite massively higher border apprehensions in Fiscal Year 2019, the number of deaths appears to be on par with the two prior years, according to the International Organization for Migrants’ Missing Migrant Project. This represents about a 20 percent drop from the Obama administration’s reported migrant deaths.

However, Democratic presidential candidates wasted no time in blaming President Donald Trump’s “inhuman and immoral immigration policy,” according to an article by National Review on Thursday.

The article cites tweets from several Democrat presidential candidates following the drowning death of a Salvadoran migrant and his 23-month-old daughter in June:

Several Democratic presidential candidates tweeted their outrage. Senator Kamala Harris, tweeted: “Trump says, ‘Go back to where you came from.’ That is inhumane. Children are dying. This is a stain on our moral conscience.” Beto O’Rourke tweeted: “Trump is responsible for these deaths.” Senator Cory Booker, tweeted: “These are the consequences of Donald Trump’s inhumane and immoral immigration policy.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden also tweeted about the tragic photo: “This image is gut-wrenching. The cruelty we’re seeing at our border is unconscionable. History will judge how we respond to the Trump Administration’s treatment of immigrant families & children — we can’t be silent. This isn’t who we are. This is not America.”

Former Vice President Biden did not mention the deaths of the 2,977 migrants who died during the eight years he served as Obama’s vice president.

Breitbart News reported extensively about the deaths of migrants during both the Obama and Trump administrations. During the Obama administration, Breitbart wrote 20 times about the deaths of 535 migrants who died in one Texas county alone — Brooks County. The county is located about 80 miles north of the Texas-Mexico border and is home to the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint on U.S. Highway 281. There doesn’t appear to be any record of Biden discussing the “cruelty” of the Obama administration or about its policies being “unconscionable.”

The CBP report on migrant deaths also indicates a shift in where migrant deaths occurred since about 2015. From 2002 until 2014, the Tucson Sector led the nine sectors that make up the southwest border with Mexico. However, that changed in 2014 when the Rio Grande Valley Sector became the deadliest sector for migrants seeking to enter the U.S. illegally.

“The demagoguery of left-wing politicians and media pundits created a false narrative that the policies of the Trump administration have resulted in these types of border deaths even though they have existed for nearly two decades,” the National Review concluded. “Americans deserve to know the truth about this topic.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

 

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