Undocumented Immigrant Deaths Spike At Border

By John Rosman
March 19, 2013

Crossing the border may be more dangerous than ever before.

A study released Tuesday, by The National Foundation for American Policy suggests an immigrant attempting to cross illegally into the United States is eight times more likely to die in the attempt than a decade ago.

In 2012, immigrant deaths rose by 27 percent to 477 individuals. This number is the second highest in more than a decade.

The figures obtained by the U.S. Border Patrol show a rise in deaths over time, despite the significant decline in the numbers of immigrants crossing the border.

Border apprehensions, are a measurement to determine how many individuals are attempting to cross illegally. Comparing the number of apprehensions with the number of immigrant deaths illustrates the sharp increase in fatalities along the border.

“Between FY 1999 and FY 2012, immigrant deaths increased by more than 80 percent at the same time apprehensions, a measure of illegal entry, declined by 77 percent.” Credit: National Foundation for American Policy

Why are more people dying? The National Foundation for American Policy attributes the deaths to the lack of temporary work visas and "the significant buildup of Border Patrol...[that] has pushed those who want to work in America into increasingly remote and dangerous areas."

Although National Foundation for American Policy is a nonpartisan research organization, their report argues a "moral case for temporary visas."