The Arizona desert presents formidable challenges for migrants seeking entry into the United States. Specifically, the Tucson Sector is recognized as the most dangerous zone in the country for those crossing from Mexico.
As dawn breaks and temperatures escalate along Arizona’s border, migrants enter Lukeville, Arizona. Once they reach the border, many surrender to the Border Patrol, concluding their perilous journey. However, the Arizona wilderness becomes increasingly treacherous for those aiming to evade capture. This year, the Tucson Border Patrol Sector witnessed a staggering increase in migrant deaths, soaring over 167 percent from the previous year.
Migrant encounters in this region surged by over 160 percent, maintaining the proportion between those crossing and those facing the fatal consequences of the challenging terrain. A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) report reveals that, in August alone, Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector located twenty-four deceased migrants. This loss of life is a significant increase from the nine found in the same month the prior year. This sector reported the highest numbers for migrant recoveries in August. Since the beginning of October, over 150 lost lives have been found in this sector’s remote desert landscapes, with the majority succumbing to heat-related causes.
The numbers provided by CBP do not encompass those located by other law enforcement agencies situated further from the border. Hence, the actual fatalities could surpass the official figures shared by CBP.
Typically, these unfortunate incidents involve individuals who opt to enter the U.S. through the more secluded desert and mountainous regions within the Tucson Sector. Many of these migrants from Mexico or other countries risk deportation upon capture. This preference for remote routes makes their rescue and subsequent recovery challenging. As the source explained, many underestimate the challenges of the environment, especially the amount of water required to survive. “Most do not realize how much water needs to be consumed to survive in this harsh environment,” the source emphasized.
In August, nearly 49,000 migrants were detained by Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector, based on unofficial data accessed by Breitbart Texas. This data shows a significant jump from the 18,506 reported in August 2022. The source indicates that the death toll might be even higher, as some remains are only discovered much later, stating, “Sometimes we just find bones because they have been out there so long.”
In 2022, the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) identified the U.S.-Mexico land border as the globe’s most dangerous land crossing. U.S. Customs and Border Protection documented over 800 deaths during that year. The IOM will probably retain this classification as data on migrant deaths for 2023 is finalized for both sides of the border.