The border crossing between the United States and Mexico is the deadliest migration land route in the world, a new study conducted by the Missing Migrants Project found.
Published by the UN-linked International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday, the study revealed that over 1,238 people died while migrating in the Americas last year, including at least 51 children. Of those deaths, 728 took place at the US-Mexico border crossing, making it “the deadliest land crossing in the world.”
According to the study, 2021 was the deadliest year at the US-Mexico border since at least 2014.
“The number of deaths on the United States-Mexico border last year is significantly higher than in any year prior, even before COVID-19,” said Edwin Viales, author of the report. “Yet, this number remains an undercount due to the diverse challenges for data collection.”
“Our data shows the growing crisis of deaths during migration in the region, and the need to strengthen the forensic capacity of the authorities to identify deaths on these routes,” he added. “We cannot forget that every single number is a human being with a family who may never know what happened to them.”
The Missing Migrants Project asserted that the Venezuelan economic crisis has forced many people to flee their country “through irregular routes, including dangerous overseas crossings to Caribbean nations.”
“Given the challenges to collect data on migrant deaths in the region and the lack of official sources of information, all MMP figures should be considered an undercount,” the study stated.
“These deaths and disappearances are related to the lack of options for safe and regular mobility, which increases the likelihood of migrants opting for irregular migration pathways that put their lives at risk.”
The study comes after dozens of people were found dead in a tractor trailer in San Antonio, Texas last week in what authorities believe was a human smuggling event.
According to Fox News, 46 people were found dead and 16 others were rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Several who were taken to the hospital later died.
San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood said that while the trailer was refrigerated, there was no working air-conditioning unit nor any water. The incident’s victims suffered from heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and were hot to the touch.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lashed out at President Joe Biden over the deadly event, blaming the president’s “open border policies.”
“At Least 42 People Found Dead Inside Truck Carrying Migrants In Texas. These deaths are on Biden,” Abbott tweeted. “They are a result of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”