Even as the flow appears to have thinned, migrants crossing the United States-Mexico border are dying at a faster rate in 2017 than in past years, according to the UN Migration Agency on Friday.
“Some 232 migrant fatalities have been recorded in the first seven months of 2017, an increase of 17 percent compared with the 204 deaths recorded between January and July 2016,” according to the study of the Missing Migrants Project (MMP) released Friday at the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
These numbers are especially concerning considering that, according to US Border Patrol figures, fewer migrants seem to be crossing into the United States in 2017, says the study, Xinhua news agency reported.
The US Border Patrol has apprehended 140,024 migrants between January and June 2017, about half the number recorded in the first six months of 2016, it says.
MMP has recorded more than 1,250 migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border since 2014, according to its study.
MMP staff reflecting on the deaths see each as an individual tragedy that serve as reminders of the many migrants who continue to risk their lives pursuing their “Sueno Americano,” or “American Dream,” the study says.
Though migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border represent 65 percent of the total number recorded in the America, it is likely that many migrant deaths occur in Central and Southern America that go unrecorded.