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The Migration of Border Deaths

December 26, 2023 (1 min read)

Caroline Tracey, High Country News, Dec. 21, 2023

"According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, 8,050 migrants perished in the Borderlands between 1998 and 2020, though researchers believe the real figure to be much higher, since many remains are never recovered or reported to authorities. Few of those deaths took place in New Mexico: in 2015, for instance, the state’s Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) counted just two migrant deaths, according to data shared with HCN by a researcher. But in 2021, that number jumped to 36, and in 2022 to 58. This year, there were at least 109 deaths, most of them around Sunland Park, a town of 16,000 amid the creosote and saltbush just nine miles from El Paso, Texas. First responders and medical investigators are adapting, but they desperately need more federal and state support."