Despite fewer people migrating illegally through Southern Arizona, the rate in which border crossers are dying remains among the highest in the last decade, a new report found.
“The death rate suggest people are being pushed to more remote areas,” Robin Reineke, a doctoral candidate in the school of anthropology at the University of Arizona, said today during a news conference where officials released the report, “A continued humanitarian crisis at the border: Undocumented border crosser deaths recorded by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 1990-2012.”
Since 1990, more than 2,000 remains of illegal border crossers have been found in Southern Arizona, out of which about 800 have not been identified.
Most of them are males around 30 years old and from central or southern Mexico.
But the number of Central Americans dying in the desert is increasing, correlating with greater Border Patrol apprehensions.
The leading cause of death between 2006 and 2012 is “undetermined,” suggesting the remains are being discovered in more remote areas and in more decomposed conditions. But researchers said there’s a big possibility many of those are exposure to the elements.