The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) released data Monday showing that the US-Mexico border is the deadliest migrant route on land in the world.
According to the organization’s Missing Migrants Project report, 686 people died at the US-Mexico border in 2022. However, there is concern the numbers are underreported because the agency could not obtain some data from Texas coroners’ offices and Mexico’s search and rescue agency.
In total, there were almost 1,500 migrant deaths in 2022 in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Specifically, a large proportion of these migrant deaths occur due to migrants taking less-travelled (and more dangerous) migration routes. In one survey done by IOM, the agency reported that every one in 25 people reported a member of their traveling group went missing.
The IOM provided a call to action, stating, “Better data is urgently needed, but ultimately, the creation of safe, regular migration routes that are accessible to more people is the most effective measure to reduce deaths during migration.”
In August 2023, Texas officials recovered two bodies at the border from the Rio Grande, which reignited calls to remove the state’s floating barrier designed to prevent border crossings. Internationally, more than 3,500 migrants have died while traveling from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe.