US Immigration Policy and Death in the Desert
Since 1999 more than 2000 people have died in the Southern Arizona Borderland. These are women, men children ﬂeeing poverty, and trying to reunite with family. Since NAFTA was passed in the mid-90’s more than 3 million people have been displaced from farms in Mexico. NAFTA has benefited US agribusiness, but devastated small Mexican farmers. US-subsidized agricultural products (corn, sugarcane etc) are cheaper to buy in Mexico than the same produce grown locally.
People in the past crossed the border to work in the US while their families remained in Mexico. Following the passage of NAFTA it was anticipated that more people would come north for work, so politicians closed off the traditional border crossing areas. Walls and increased militarization were employed along the border n Texas, California and Nogales, Arizona; it was thought that the harsh conditions and terrain of the Southern Arizona Sonoran Desert would be a geographical barrier. But our government did not understand the determination of people to ﬁnd work to feed their families.
Their labor has always been needed in the US where many employers, including large corporations, are eager to hire hard working people from
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south of the border to whom they pay low wages.
This has resulted in a disaster region in the Southern Arizona Borderland. Children, women and men die from dehydration, heat stroke and hypothermia. People continue to come out of desperation, to feed their families, and to reunite with parents and spouses from whom they have been separated. The number of deaths continues to escalate. Fewer people are crossing the border and being apprehended, but the percentage of deaths to crossers has greatly increased.
Latest Recovered Human Remains Report
Data is from Pima County Forensic Center, reporting year starts in October.
Recovered Human Remains Maps
Humane Borders Maps
2015-2016 Samaritan Patrol Area
2015-2016 Ajo Area
2013-2014 Cumulative Tucson Sector
2012-2013 Cumulative Tucson Sector
2015-2016 Tucson Sector
July 2016 Samaritan Patrol Area