Latino Studies Death at the US-Mexico Border
by
Néstor P. Rodríguez
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 March 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199913701-0097

Introduction

Hundreds of Mexicans, Central Americans, and other migrants die annually at the US-Mexico border when they attempt to enter the United States without visas by trekking across desert terrain, or by swimming across the Rio Grande River dividing Texas and Mexico border. After the US Border Patrol, in order to halt illegal crossings, closed down in the 1990s the safest border crossing points used by unauthorized migrants, usually near urban centers, the undocumented migrant flow, often organized by coyotes (smugglers), was redirected to dangerous border areas where migrants die from heat exposure, thirst, drownings, assaults, automobile accidents, and so forth. Research in the late 1990s by sociologists at the Center for Immigration Research at the University of Houston (Eschbach, et al. 1999, cited under General Overviews) introduced the topic of “border deaths” in policy discussions of US immigration, as well as created the subfield of migrant deaths in undocumented migration research. Several studies (e.g., see Regional Analysis) have been conducted since the mid-1990s, addressing the occurrence of migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border, but the subfield is still in a nascent stage due to the difficulty in obtaining migrant mortality data collected with consistent research methods using standardized death classification criteria. Nonetheless, the US Border Patrol has reported annual counts at the US-Mexico border since 1998 (see US Border Patrol death statistics cited under Government Documents). US studies of migrant deaths at the border do not usually include data of migrant deaths on the Mexican side of the border, resulting in undercounts of migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border region. The numbers of these deaths on the Mexican border side may have increased significantly since 2005 after criminal groups in Mexico started kidnapping and murdering migrants crossing Mexico. A recent development in the topic of migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border has been attempts to identify the remains of migrant fatalities through forensic science in order to help relatives locate their missing migrant family members (e.g., see forensic articles in Forensic Science and Public Health Perspective). Humanitarian organizations and analysts have addressed the issue of how migrant deaths represent violation of the human rights of migrants by the implementation of a US border control policy that does not adequately consider the fatal risks created for the undocumented migration flow into the United States.

General Overviews

The citations included in this section give overviews of migrant death patterns or related issues for the whole US-Mexico border. Most of the citations address a variety of death-related issues; this topic introduction points out the most salient issues. Brown 2001 uses a journalistic introduction to discuss migrant deaths and comments on data quality; the author also makes a comparison with migrant deaths in Europe. Cornelius 2001 relates migrant death counts to border enforcement policy. Dunn 2009 describes how a Border Patrol operation to control the border in El Paso, Texas, in 1993 began to redirect undocumented migration to other border areas and change the death patterns. Eschbach, et al. 1999 and Eschbach, et al. 2003 analyze changing death patterns related to changing border enforcement activity. Haddal 2010 addresses the issue of data quality and missing data, as well as Border Patrol safety programs. Massey, et al. 2002 calculates the migrant death increase after the implementation of the border control strategy of Operation Gatekeeper in the San Diego sector in California. Meissner, et al. 2013 provides recent updates on migrant death issues, including the role of smugglers and Border Patrol safety programs.

  • Brown, Mary Elizabeth. “Death in the Desert.” Migration World Magazine 29 (May–June 2001): 17–23.

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    Journalistic account of thirteen migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border. Description of humanitarian attempts to reduce deaths numbers on US side and formation of Grupo Beta on Mexican side. Compares migrant deaths in US to deaths in Europe. Concludes that migrants die at the border because their humanity is not respected.

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    • Cornelius, Wayne A. “Death at the Border: Efficacy and Unintended Consequences of US Immigration Control Policy.” Population and Development Review 27 (2001): 661–685.

      DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2001.00661.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      An analysis of how new US border enforcement policy at the US-Mexico border affected apprehension of unauthorized migrants and had consequences for unauthorized migration flows, including an increase of migrant deaths at the border. Analysis uses death data provided by Mexican consulates in border areas.

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      • Dunn, Timothy J. Blockading the Border and Human Rights: The El Paso Operation That Remade Immigration Enforcement. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2009.

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        Relates Border Patrol Operation Blockade (renamed Operation Hold the Line) in El Paso to changing patterns of migrant deaths at U.S.-Mexico border, from the perspective of human rights. Gives detailed comparisons of death statistics for the whole border, given by various sources from 1999 to 2007. Also offers special focus on deaths in the El Paso Border Patrol sector.

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        • Eschbach, Karl, Jacqueline Hagan, and Nestor Rodriguez. “Deaths during Undocumented Migration: Trends and Policy Implications in the New Era of Homeland Security.” In In Defense of the Alien. Vol. 26. Edited by Joseph Fugolo, 37–52. New York: Center for Migration Studies, 2003.

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          Updates data and analysis given in Eschbach, et al. 1999 to 2002 of migrant deaths at US-Mexico border. Uses new death data to make a strong argument relating deaths to new border enforcement policy. Discusses impact of 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States for border enforcement policy.

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          • Eschbach, Karl, Jacqueline Hagan, Nestor Rodriguez, Rubén Hernández, and Stanley Bailey. “Death at the Border.” International Migration Review 33 (1999): 430–454.

            DOI: 10.2307/2547703Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            Article gives counts and causes of migrant deaths (such as drowning and environmental exposure) for seven border areas for 1993–1997. Estimates of migrant deaths on the Mexican border side are also provided. Article relates new border enforcement policy to the redirection of unauthorized migration to dangerous border areas where migrant deaths have increased.

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            • Haddal, Chad C. Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol. Congressional Research Service, 7–5700, RL32562. Washington, DC, 11 August 2010.

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              Addresses incompleteness of migrant death data. Deaths on the Mexican side are not counted. Border Patrol started collecting data in 1998. Death counts compiled by using University of Houston research are given for 1985–1998, and for 1999–2009 with Border Patrol data. Border Patrol created Border Safety Initiative (BSI) to save migrant lives.

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              • Massey, Douglas S., Jorje Durand, and N. J. Malone. Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2002.

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                Calculates deaths rates per 100,000 crossings for whole border. Using data from 1986 to 1998, this book shows that Border Patrol implementation of Operation Gatekeeper causes 160 “extra deaths” of migrants each year.

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                • Meissner, Doris, Donald M. Kerwin, Muzaffar Chishti, and Claire Bergeron. Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery. Migration Policy Institute. Washington, DC, January 2013.

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                  Reports that with increased border enforcement, smugglers have led migrants into more dangerous areas in California and Arizona, causing migrant deaths to increase. Number of deaths leveled off since 2005 and fell to 360 annually for the two-year period 2010–2011. Border Patrol has established safety initiatives.

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                  Regional Analysis

                  Much of the attention to the topic of migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border focuses on the Arizona-Mexico border region, where a majority of the deaths are reported for most years, but a few studies focus on other regions of the border. Filzen 2013 addresses the deaths that occur in the Tohomo O’odham Nation at the Arizona border region, and the issues it creates for the members of the Nation. Humane Borders provides elaborate website information and maps regarding location of deaths and a means to search online for missing migrants by name who may have died in Arizona deserts. Kovic 2013 provides death statistics updates for border areas and for a southern Texas border area that experienced a surge of migrant death in 2011–2013. No More Death Volunteer Network provides an elaborate website with recent reports of migrant death developments and issues in the Arizona-Mexico border, as well as videos of Border Patrol removing life-saving resources for migrants in Arizona desert area. Padgett 2011 describes the disappearances of Mexican migrants in the Tamaulipas region of northeastern Mexico and the experiences of families left behind. Rubio-Goldsmith, et al. 2006 provides a detailed analysis of migrant deaths at the Arizona-Mexico border using data from the Pima County medical examiner’s office for 1990–2005. Sterling 2013 provides a graphic update of migrant deaths at the Arizona-Mexico border from the perspective of a Guatemalan family and community that lost a migrant member.

                  Stories, Vignettes, and Biographies of Migrant Deaths

                  Going beyond statistics of migrant deaths, the citations listed in this section describe dangerous environments and migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border by using stories, vignettes, and biographies of migrant fatalities. Annerino 1999 gives a rich description of the US-Mexico border environments where migrants die. Ellingwood 2004 describes how Border Patrol determine which migrant trails signify that migrants are in danger of death through clothing discarded by migrants suffering from heat exposure. Jimenez 2009 provides stories of migrant deaths or near-death cases and reactions by immigrant advocates to enhance public awareness of the deaths. Kovic 2013 provides stories, based on interviews of family members of victims, of migrant deaths and gives qualitative description of Brooks County in southern Texas, where the number of migrant deaths increased after 2010. Lee 2003 describes Chinese undocumented migration through Mexico into the United States after the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, and the symbolism of the depiction of Chinese migrant death in a border area of the US-Mexico border. Martinez 2001 gives journalistic accounts of reactions in a Mexican family and community that lost a member in an Arizona desert. Ralph 1891 describes undocumented Chinese migration at the US-Mexico border after the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and provides perhaps the first-ever image in a periodical (Harper’s) of a migrant (Chinese) dying in a border desert area. Urrea 2004 provides rich journalistic descriptions of death environments, decomposing migrant bodies, and home country situations that drive migrants to attempt dangerous crossings at the US-Mexico border.

                  • Annerino, John. Dead in Their Tracks: Crossing America’s Desert Borderlands. New York/London: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1999.

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                    Rich qualitative description of desert areas and dangerous environmental challenges that migrants face in the US Southwest border region. Stories of migrant crossings and photographs of migrants walking through the desert areas, including photographs of migrant victims on desert grounds.

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                    • Ellingwood, Ken. Hard Line: Life and Death on the U.S.-Mexico Border. New York: Pantheon, 2004.

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                      Journalist descriptions of lethal terrain across border regions and attempts by different government agents to rescue undocumented migrants facing life-threatening conditions. Border Patrol rescue teams follow migrant trails of discarded clothing, which indicate migrants are in great danger of death from heat exposure.

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                      • Jimenez, Maria. Humanitarian Crisis: Migrant Deaths at the U.S.–Mexico Border. ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties and Mexico’s National Commission of Human Rights. 1 October 2009.

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                        Report provides several stories of migrants who died or had near-death events in dangerous terrain at the US-Mexico border. Photographs of deadly border terrain, crosses left for migrants who died in the journey, and migrants in danger of drowning at a border canal.

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                        • Kovic, Christine. Searching for the Living, the Dead, and the New Disappeared on the Migrant Trail in Texas: Preliminary Report on Migrant Deaths in South Texas. Prevention of Migrant Deaths Working Group of Houston United/Houston Unido, Houston, Texas, July 2013.

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                          Gives qualitative description of sharp rise of reported migrant deaths in Brooks County in South Texas. Describes how relatives of missing migrants contact a border community organization to find information about the missing. Provides testimony of Salvadoran aunt in Houston who searched for missing migrant nephew who was later found dead in South Texas.

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                          • Lee, Erika. At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882–1943. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

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                            Shows that a drawing in Harper’s Magazine in March 1891 of smuggled Chinese migrant dying of thirst in a US border desert creates image of Chinese migrants as aliens. The desperation and tragedy of death in the desert creates images of smuggled Chinese migrants as desperate criminals.

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                            • Martinez, Ruben. Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2001.

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                              Description of feelings and conditions of family members left behind in Mexican town by migrant brothers who died in an attempt to migrate to the United States. Views in town concerning who is to blame for migrant deaths. Description of town attendance at funeral of migrant brothers who died on the migrant trail.

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                              • Ralph, Julian. “The Chinese Leak.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine 82 (March 1891): 515–526.

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                                Early journalistic account of Chinese smuggling and lethal danger faced at US-Mexico border after enactment of Chinese Exclusion Act. Image of weakened Chinese migrant crawling in desert, and caption “Dying of Thirst in the Desert,” demonstrate lethal danger of smuggling through US-Mexico border.

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                                • Urrea, Luis Alberto. The Devil’s Highway: A True Story. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2004.

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                                  Detailed description of bodies of migrants found in border areas after exposure to very high heat. Description of information packets prepared to accompany body remains, from which consulate officials attempt to get information to contact relatives back home. Reports that migrants who separate in border crossings consequently die after getting lost.

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                                  Border Patrol Safety Programs

                                  After media reports of research findings by University of Houston sociologists that hundreds of migrants were dying annually at the US-Mexico border, the Border Patrol organized safety programs to rescue migrants. One program was the Border Safety Initiative (BSI) and the second program was the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR). Guerette 2007b introduces a situational crime prevention model to reduce migrant deaths, and Guerette 2007a assesses the ability of BSI and BORSTAR to reduce the number of deaths. The United States General Accountability Office 2006 provides a technical description of the Border Patrol safety programs, and this 2006 report is the only GAO report devoted completely to the topic of migrant deaths, concluding that effects of the safety programs have not been fully evaluated. The US Border Patrol website (2012) provides annual updates on the number of migrant rescues conducted though BORSTAR, and US Customs and Border Protection 2014 fact sheets provide detailed information on the BORSTAR program.

                                  Government Documents

                                  The US General Accountability Office (GAO) has included the topic of migrant deaths in a series of reports concerning the Border Patrol strategy of border control. United States General Accountability Office (GAO) 1997 acknowledges that the migrant death pattern is related to border enforcement strategy and recommends collection of systematic death data. United States General Accountability Office (GAO) 1999 acknowledges how death reports by University of Houston researchers led to the Border Patrol Border Safety Initiative (BSI); in addition, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has started tracking deaths in border counties. US United States General Accountability Office (GAO) 2001 reports that migrant deaths in desert areas were unexpected by the planners of border policy. United States General Accountability Office (GAO) 2006 devotes the whole report to migrant deaths, presenting different data on the deaths, and states that more needs to be done to collect death data. United States General Accountability Office (GAO) 2010 reports that according to Border Patrol officials the program of repatriating migrants to the Mexican interior has reduced the number of migrant deaths. US Border Patrol 1994 provides the plan for the border control strategy “Prevention through Deterrence,” which caused illegal immigration to be redirected into border deserts, causing hundreds of death annually.

                                  Forensic Science and Public Health Perspectives

                                  Until the mid-first decade of the 21st century, research on migrant deaths remained almost exclusively in the domains of social science, policy debates, and human rights advocates. But with the accumulation of larger numbers of unidentified migrant bodies in counties at the US-Mexico border, forensic work became necessary to attempt to identify migrant victims. The growing importance of forensic examinations of migrant remains led to discussions of new identification methods and new causes of death. Moreover, public health research also turned to the topic of migrant deaths. Anderson 2008 discusses the methods of identification of remains within different environmental and personal situations. Fulginiti 2008 focuses on the increasing murders by smugglers as a new cause of death. Hinkes 2008 discusses how means of identification are minimal or nonexistent for migrant death cases, as bodies quickly deteriorate. Juarez 2008 discusses how strontium isotopes in tooth enamel may be a means to link unidentified migrant bodies to regions in Mexico. Sapkota, et al. 2006 develops a demographic profile of migrant death cases in 2002–2003 at the border stretch from Yuma to El Paso as practice of public-health-oriented research.

                                  • Anderson, Bruce E. “Identifying the Dead: Methods Utilized by the Pima County (Arizona) Office of the Medical Examiner for Undocumented Border Crossers: 2001–2006.” Journal of Forensic Sciences 53 (2008): 8–15.

                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2007.00609.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    Reports that dry, hot environment and remoteness of migrant trails quickly make a death victim’s body unidentifiable visually. Positive and circumstantial methods of identification are used most frequency to determine identity. Seventy-three percent of reported death cases have been identified for 2001–2006.

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                                    • Fulginiti, Laura C. “Fatal Footsteps: Murder of Undocumented Border Crossers in Maricopa County, Arizona.” Journal of Forensic Sciences 53 (2008): 41–45.

                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2007.00613.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      Focuses on the reported deaths in Arizona jumped from twenty-eight in 1998–1999 to over 200 in years after 2000. Many migrant deaths have occurred because of exposure, but the occurrence of murder has increased as smugglers attempt to extort money from families. Migrants are killed when families do not pay ransom demand.

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                                      • Hinkes, Madeleine J. “Migrant Deaths along the California–Mexico Border: An Anthropological Perspective.” Journal of Forensic Sciences 53 (2008): 16–20.

                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2007.00625.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        Discusses how new enforcement in California-Mexico border in 1990s pushed migrants into dangerous crossing areas in eastern part of San Diego and Imperial counties. Death rates rose sharply. Minimal sources of pre-death information exist of victims; many migrant bodies are never identified. Bodies decompose quickly.

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                                        • Juarez, Chelsey A. “Strontium and Geolocation, the Pathway to Identification for Deceased Undocumented Mexican Border-Crossers: A Preliminary Report.” Journal of Forensic Sciences 53 (2008): 46–49.

                                          DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2007.00610.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          Reports that identification and repatriation of migrant bodies is problematic because home countries (Mexico) lack identification databases. Identifying region of migrant origin would narrow the identification search in the home country. Research with strontium isotopic variation in Mexican tooth enamel samples shows distinct regional sets.

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                                          • Sapkota, Sanjeeb, Harold W. Kohl, III, Julie Gilchrist, et al. “Unauthorized Border Crossings and Migrant Deaths: Arizona, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, 2002–2003.” American Journal of Public Health 96 (2006): 1282–1287.

                                            DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.075168Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Study examines 409 migrant deaths located between 1 January 2002 and 31 December 2003, along borderline from Yuma, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas. Leading cause of death was heat exposure (61 percent), followed by vehicle crashes (8 percent) and drownings (5.9 percent). Seventy-three percent were male, and 52 percent twenty to thirty-nine years of age.

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                                            Activist and Critical Perspectives

                                            While many studies of migrant deaths blame the US policy of border control for patterns of migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border, only a minority of studies emphasize and elaborate on this blame vis-à-vis the actions of the US state. Doty 2011 uses the concept of “bare life” to explain theoretically how the degradation of migrants by actions of the state and others leads to the state to consider migrant deaths in border regions as insignificant. Johnson 2007 argues that the US government knowingly sends migrants to their deaths through the fatal consequences of the border control strategy at the US-Mexico border. Nevins 2008 concludes his qualitative presentation by citing world injustice and violent border policing as the root cause of migrant deaths.

                                            • Doty, Roxanne Lynn. “Bare Life: Border-Crossing Deaths and Spaces of Moral Alibi.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 29 (2011): 599–612.

                                              DOI: 10.1068/d3110Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Asserts that state border-control policies create geographic spaces in which deaths of migrants reduced to “bare life” conditions are considered unimportant. Border areas are geographic spaces with tensions where the state rigorously enforces control, using biopower to make distinctions at the international level. US state uses border geography as a “moral alibi” to conceal agency that leads to deaths in a racialized context. Accessed 18 October 2013.

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                                              • Johnson, Kevin R. Opening the Floodgates: Why America Needs to Rethink Its Borders and Immigration Laws. New York: New York University Press, 2007.

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                                                Argues that US border enforcement operations drive immigrants into dangerous locations where thousands die. US government knew that border strategy would have mortal risks. US border strategy violates international human rights.

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                                                • Nevins, Joseph. Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid. San Francisco: City Light, 2008.

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                                                  Includes descriptions of migrant bodies found in US border desert area. Bodies become mummified and badly decomposed after desert environments reach more than 120 degrees. Describes angry reaction of Border Patrol official towards smugglers, who are seen as responsible for leading migrants to their deaths in desert areas. An unjust world of global apartheid is at the basis of migrant deaths.

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                                                  Human Rights

                                                  Many studies of migrant deaths characterize these deaths as products of human rights violations that result from the US strategy of border control in which the safe border crossing points have been closed down, leaving undocumented migrants to attempt to enter the United States through dangerous border areas. But few studies take a strong human rights perspective in their analysis, similar to the works cited in this section. Amnesty International 2012 emphasizes how the US border control strategy causes migrant deaths and emphasizes the need to collect better mortality data. Alonso Meneses 2003–2004 maintains that the United States and Mexico must cooperate in order to lower the number of migrant deaths that occur at the US-Mexico border. Hing 2001 blames Operation Gatekeeper in the San Diego border area for violating human rights of immigrants. Guerette 2006 states that international human rights laws obligate governments to protect migrants from death such as at the US-Mexico border. Human Rights Watch 1995 describes a condition of low regard by the Border Patrol for the safety of detained migrants, an attitude that has led to deaths. Human Rights Watch 1998 recommends more training for Border Patrol agents in order to reduce human rights violations experienced by migrants in detention. Nevins 2003 argues that researchers should give stronger emphasis to human rights violations in studies of migrant deaths. Rodriguez 2012 reviews migrant deaths from the perspective of actions or lack of actions of the border control bureaucracy and how these are related to violations of specific human rights of migrants.

                                                  • Alonso Meneses, Guillermo. “Human Rights and Undocumented Migration along the Mexican-U.S. Border.” UCLA Law Review 51 (2003–2004): 267–282.

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                                                    Gives mortality rates of deaths by number of apprehensions for 1999–2002. Compares Border Patrol death counts for 1998 to 2002 to figures given by the Mexican government, which are higher. The US and Mexican governments need to cooperate to offer solution to the deaths.

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                                                    • Amnesty International. In Hostile Terrain: Human Rights Violations in Immigration Enforcement in the US Southwest. Amnesty International USA, Index: AMR 51/018/2012. New York, 2012.

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                                                      Analyzes US Border Patrol 1994 plan to control border as causing migrant deaths. Discusses Border Patrol program (BORSTAR) and involvement of humanitarian groups working to save migrant lives. In Arizona, medical examiner in Pima County had 150 to 200 unidentified remains stored. Improvement needed to gathering of identification data from remains.

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                                                      • Guerette, Rob T. “Preventing Migrant Deaths: A Possible Role for Situational Crime Prevention.” In Migration, Cultural Conflict, Crime and Terrorism. Edited by Joshua D. Freilich and Rob T. Guerette, 185–198. Burlington, VT: Ashgage, 2006.

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                                                        Argues that international human rights protocol obligates governments to save lives of unauthorized migrants. Recognition of the problem of migrant deaths at the border resulted after implementation of new border enforcement strategy and research publications documenting deaths.

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                                                        • Hing, Bill Ong. “The Dark Side of Operation Gatekeeper.” UC Davis Journal of International Law & Policy 7 (2001): 121–168.

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                                                          Reports that migrant deaths at the border raise important ethical issues. US government continues border strategy of Operation Gatekeeper while knowing that it does not deter migration but leads to migrant deaths. Available Border Patrol planning document demonstrates that Border Patrol knew migrants would face mortal risk in dangerous terrain.

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                                                          • Human Rights Watch. United States: Crossing the Line, Human Rights Abuses along with U.S. Border with Mexico Persist amid Climate of Impunity. 7.4 (1995).

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                                                            Report of maltreatment of migrants and death during custody with the Border Patrol. Low regard of detained migrant security by Border Patrol.

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                                                            • Human Rights Watch. “Fatal Shootings by U.S. Border Patrol Increase Sharply: Rights Groups Better Training, Gear for Agents.” News (30 September 1998).

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                                                              Border Patrol fatal shootings of migrants who allegedly threw rocks at them in border area. Recommendation that human rights violations of migrants will be reduced if Border Patrol agents receive more training and gear.

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                                                              • Nevins, Joseph. “Thinking Out of Bounds: A Critical Analysis of Academic and Human Rights Writings on Migrant Deaths in the US-Mexico Border Region.” Migraciones Internacionales 2 (2003): 171–190.

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                                                                Article discusses historical roots of migrant deaths and compares how studies of migrant death at the US-Mexico border frame their analysis on the basis of different concepts of the right of governments to maintain a borderline. Argues for stronger consideration of the human rights of unauthorized migrants at the border.

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                                                                • Rodriguez, Nestor. “Contrôle des frontières. Questions de droits humains et d’éthique sur une stratégie états-unienne.” Hommes & Migrations 1296 (mars–avril 2012): 54–63.

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                                                                  Raises ethical questions and moral issues concerning the deaths impact of the border control strategy “prevention through deterrence” in 1994. Examines the bureaucratic framework of border enforcement, and reviews human rights impacts from perspective of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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