Sunday, February 25, 2007

US-Mexico Border Deaths

Funnel effect blamed for leap in border deaths.

The number of illegal immigrants who died while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border through the Arizona desert rose dramatically between 2000 and 2005 – largely because of a funnel effect that shifted traffic from urban areas in Texas and California, says a new study. The study found an increase in the number of deaths of unauthorized border crossers – from nine in 1990 to 201 in 2005. "A Humanitarian Crisis at the Border: New Estimates of Deaths Among Unauthorized Immigrants" was done by the Binational Migration Institute at the University of Arizona with help from the Pima County medical examiner's office. Additionally, the number of bodies recovered by the Pima County medical examiner's office rose dramatically – 802 from 2000 to 2005, up from 125 from 1990 to 1999.

"What we wanted to show was that since the militarization of the border, people have begun turning to more dangerous crossing areas," said Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, one of the study's author's and director of the Binational Migration Institute. People would rather take the risk and cross where there's less chance they will get caught, Ms. Rubio-Goldsmith said.

(Click here to read more)
Click here to read BiNational Migration Institute Report