Data shows there have been 748 confirmed deaths among illegal immigrants, which is a striking increase from the 557 deaths recorded in fiscal year 2021. The number of deaths is probably much higher, since local law enforcement agencies don’t always report recovered bodies to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
Just last week, nine migrants drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande river along the Texas border, prompting Border Patrol officials to plead with migrants not to try and make the dangerous trek.
“The currents of the Rio Grande have become more dangerous due to recent and continuing rainfall and more rain is forecasted for the coming week,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jason Owens said in a statement.
“Despite these adverse conditions, U.S. Border Patrol, Del Rio Sector continues to encounter more than 100+, 200+ attempting to cross the Rio Grande daily,” he continued. “In an effort to prevent further loss of life, we are asking everyone to please avoid crossing illegally.”
Border deaths have increased along with border crossings. So far this fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection has reported more than 1.94 million encounters, which is up from 1.73 million encounters in all of 2021.
Republicans have argued these deaths are needless and a direct result of President Joe Biden’s open border policies, which encourage migrants to risk their lives and make the dangerous trek across the border. The consequences of his policies stand in stark contrast to his campaign promise to build a “fair and humane” immigration system, they said.
“We know the numbers of deaths are going up for migrants. We know they’re going to go up for Americans,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton this week. “[The Biden administration] is willing to trade that to get more illegals here and they don’t seem to care about the number of deaths.”