Migration report shows change in the demographic of border crossing deaths

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A new report from the Bi-national Migration Institute at the University of Arizona focuses on migrant deaths in the State over the last 30 years. Horizonte host Jose Cardenas spoke with Daniel Martinez, Co-Director of the Institute and Associate Professor at the U of A’s School of Sociology.

This report is one of three that have been released. In this report, “it’s really building on these data that are, that are gathered through the work by the Pima County Office of Medical Examiner so these are undocumented border crossers who have perished in southern Arizona and whose remains have been recovered anytime there is a unintended not natural death that warrants investigation, the remains of the individual, are transferred to the Pima County office of the medical examiner for investigation. So that’s the source of these data and really tells us quite a bit about what’s going on here in our Borderlands, as it pertains to border enforcement and undocumented border crossers deaths,” said Martinez.

And a most recent finding, “the 2014 to 2020 era, we’ve seen a notable change in the demographic profile, namely we’re seeing an increase proportion, among those who are identified, increased proportion of Guatemalans, roughly 20 some percent of undocumented border crossers whose remains have been recovered from Southern Arizona,” said Martinez.

Does this have anything to do with the administration in office?

“The issue of migrant deaths or boarder cross deaths is a non partisan issue. We’ve seen several administrations, come and go over the last thirty years, and starting in 2000 is really when we started seeing an increase in the number of recovered undocumented border crossers remains here in southern Arizona and we’ve been able to connect this increase in death and migrant fatality directly back to notable border enforcement efforts along the US Mexico border stemming from the prevention through deterrence strategy in 1994,” said Martinez.

Daniel Martinez

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