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US-Mexico Border Is the World’s Deadliest Land Route For Migrants

US-Mexico Border Is the World’s Deadliest Land Route For Migrants
David Peinado Romero / Shutterstock

The southern border recorded 686 deaths and disappearances last year.

The United States' border with Mexico is the world’s deadliest land route for migrants, with at least 686 deaths and disappearances recorded last year.

According to a report released earlier this week from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), last year's deaths at the border accounted for almost half of the 1,457 migrant deaths in the Americas throughout 2022.

Dangers of the U.S. Mexico border

The data was gathered through IOM’s Missing Migrants Project annual overview, which highlights the "increasing risks that migrants face throughout the region." The organization stresses that the numbers are the "lowest estimates available, as many more deaths are likely to go unrecorded due to lack of data from official sources."

“These alarming figures are a stark reminder of the need for decisive action by states,” said Michele Klein Solomon, the IOM’s regional director for Central and North America and the Caribbean. “Enhancing data collection is crucial. Ultimately, what is needed is for countries to act on the data to ensure safe, regular migration routes are accessible.”

Nearly half of the deaths on the border were linked to the crossing of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts. An additional 269 people lost their lives while attempting the dangerous trip of crossing the sea between the mainland United States and Puerto Rico.

The IOM said that the numbers "reflect the fatal consequences of the lack of safe and regular mobility options."

"States across the Americas need to recognize that the growing death toll is a humanitarian emergency of great dimension, especially because it is likely that deaths during migratory transit are many more than IOM has been able to record," the report states. "Better data is urgently needed, but ultimately, the creation of safe, regular migration routes that are accessible to more people is the most effective measure to reduce deaths during migration."

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