More Than 300 Migrants Died This Year near U.S.-Mexico Border

Brooks County Sheriff's Office deputies recovered the body of a migrant woman identified by her brother as Antonia Calderas Marroquin on a ranch in South Texas. (Photo: Brooks County Sheriff's Office/Deputy Bianca Mora)
Photo: Brooks County Sheriff's Office/Deputy Bianca Mora

More than 300 migrants died this year while or shortly after crossing the U.S. border with Mexico. Nearly 200 of those occurred in Texas alone.

The International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrant Report details the deaths of 323 migrants who died this year in the southwestern United States or northern Mexico. The report shows that nearly 200 of those deaths occurred near the Texas border and the remaining 125 near the Arizona, California, and New Mexico borders.

The number of deaths is the second-highest in the past five years. Year-to-date numbers for 2019 show that 323 migrants lost their lives. This represents a decrease of nearly 10 percent despite the massive number of migrants apprehended by Border Patrol agents.

Year-to-Date Numbers 2014-2019:

  • 2019 — 323
  • 2018 — 355
  • 2017 — 276
  • 2016 — 307
  • 2015 — 164
  • 2014 — 306

Year 2019 sets a high-mark for the past five years in the deaths of women and children. At least 44 women died so far this year while attempting to cross into the U.S. The number of child deaths sets at 15. This compares to last year when only 27 women and nine children died. On average, during the past five years, slightly over 20 women and nearly 6 children died per year.

Of the 232 migrants who died this year along the border, at least 37 of them (11.5 percent) died in a single county in Texas — Brooks County. Brooks County is not a border county. It is located about 80 miles north of the Texas border with Mexico between McAllen and Corpus Christi. The deaths are still border-connected due to a U.S. Border Patrol immigration checkpoint located on U.S. Highway 281 — nearly in the center of the county. Human smugglers force migrants to march through the hazardous terrain of the ranches surrounding the checkpoint. If a migrant gets sick, injured, dehydrated, overheated, or for any other reason cannot keep up, the smugglers simply leave them behind to die.

Most recently, a Brooks County Sheriff’s deputy faced the gruesome task of recovering the half-eaten remains of a migrant who died on a ranch located south of the checkpoint, Breitbart Texas reported. A few days earlier, deputies recovered yet another migrant who died in a similar area.

In October 2018, Martinez sat down with Breitbart Border/Cartel Chronicles Editor-in-Chief Brandon Darby and border journalist Ildefonso Ortiz to discuss the humanitarian consequences of the United States’ failure to secure the border with Mexico.

“Our county is not located on the border,” Sheriff Martinez said, “But we have more migrant deaths than probably any other county in the country.”

“It is a horrible death faced by these people who are abused throughout the entire smuggling process. And, it is an extremely frustrating and emotional burden put on our deputies who must recover the remains, Martinez concluded. “As long as Congress fails to take action to fix the laws that are encouraging Central American migrants to cross the border in unprecedented numbers, we will continue to see these deaths.”

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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