As Border Crossings Surge, Biden Admin Hiding Data on Illegal Alien Deaths

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Border apprehensions recently topped 1.7 million, with three months of the fiscal year remaining. At the same time, the Biden administration has broken a long-standing policy of publicly releasing the number of illegal immigrants who die while crossing into the United States, or soon after.

The Rio Grande Valley in Texas and the Tucson Sector in Arizona have traditionally been the most deadly border sectors, as the river and the summer heat claim the most lives, and smugglers leave injured and sick aliens to die.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published on its website the number of migrant deaths along the southern border from fiscal 1998 to fiscal 2020, but stopped once the Biden administration took over the agency.

Over the course of three months, The Epoch Times made multiple requests to CBP for the missing data from fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to date. But CBP, to date, has declined to provide the information.

Previous CBP data show 247 illegal immigrants died near the border during fiscal 2020, while 300 died in fiscal 2019.

This June, according to unpublished CBP data obtained by The Epoch Times, 111 illegal immigrants died while crossing into the country, or soon after. An additional 53 died in a tractor-trailer unit outside San Antonio.

The highest number of deaths on CBP’s record was 492 people in fiscal year 2005. In the same year, Border Patrol apprehended about 1.2 million illegal immigrants.

The historical CBP data include a footnote indicating that the “data may be subject to change based on new discoveries of remains and possible dates of death as determined by a medical examiner.”

Not all migrant deaths are counted in the CBP data, as Border Patrol agents aren’t always involved in the discovery. Sheriff’s offices have their own tally of bodies discovered by ranchers, hunters, or others.

Brooks County in Texas accounts for many border-related deaths, and sheriff’s deputy Don White of Remote Wildlands Search and Recovery often finds the bodies. The illegal immigrants traveling through Brooks County have evaded law enforcement at the border and are walking on ranchland 70 miles farther north to skirt the Border Patrol checkpoint on Highway 281.

By Charlotte Cuthbertson

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