In June of this year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) found 109 bodies at the southern border. Officials noted that these were likely accidental deaths caused by illegal immigrants who were unable to withstand the summer heat while crossing the border, among other reasons.
As summer approaches, the heat wave continues. According to data released by CBP, as cited in a report by the English-language Epoch Times, the number of bodies found in June exceeded one-third of the total for the past nine-month period.
Most of the deaths at the border in the summer are caused by hypothermia and dehydration. Illegal immigrants choose to cross the desert and other means of entry to avoid inspection at border patrol stations, and are vulnerable to accidents if they get lost or lack water. And human smugglers often leave behind people who are slow to move or injured.
Figures show that more summer deaths are found at the Texas and Arizona borders; typically, when the number of illegal border crossings soars, so do the deaths.
Deputy Sheriff Don White of Brooks County, Texas, said 52 bodies have been found so far this year in his county alone, compared with 34 in all of last year. The situation could get worse as temperatures rise again in July and August.
The Border Patrol has found 321 bodies at the border from last October through the middle of fiscal year 2021. That compares with the highest death toll in the past 20 years, with 492 deaths in 2005.
According to CBP data, the Border Patrol has apprehended nearly one million illegal immigrants from last October through May of this year.