The 2,000-mile (3,200km) border between the US and Mexico is the world’s deadliest land migration route, a recent UN study claimed. Some 728 migrants died or disappeared there last year, an increase of more than 50% since 2020.
Published by the International Organization for Migration, a UN body, the report labeled 2021 as the deadliest year for migration in the Americas since 2014, when it began collecting data. More than 1,200 migrants died or disappeared in the region last year, with 728 dying or vanishing along the US-Mexico border alone, 53% more than in 2020.
“The number of deaths on the United States-Mexico border last year is significantly higher than in any year prior, even before Covid-19,” Edwin Viales, author of the report, said. “Yet, this number remains an undercount due to the diverse challenges for data collection.”
The number of migrants attempting to enter the US illegally fell during 2020, amid a worldwide slump in travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, and with the Trump administration enforcing tough security measures at the border. However, Border Patrol officers encountered more than three times as many illegal immigrants in 2021 as in 2020, and more than 1.5 million arrests have been reported this year, on track to outstrip last year’s record total of 1.7 million.