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GAO: Border Patrol Agents Significantly Undercount Immigrant Deaths

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents are significantly undercounting the number of immigrant deaths, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.  

Forbes write, “The finding provides more evidence that for many years U.S. immigration policy has been ineffective, counterproductive and deadly. Continuing policies that rely on enforcement alone and ignore the need to offer legal visas for those seeking work will result in thousands of more deaths and continued frustration about policies that fail to deter unlawful migration into the United States.”

The GAO report states, “CBP [Customs and Border Protection] has not collected and recorded, or reported to Congress, complete data on migrant deaths or disclosed limitations with the data it has reported.”

According to the report, Border Patrol isn’t taking advantage of the resources that would enable them to account for all of the deaths. 

At the Tucson Sector, the agency reported 339 deaths between 2015 and 2019. But according to public data from the Arizona OpenGIS Initiative for Deceased Migrants, 699 immigrants died between that period. 


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