In 1998, U.S. Border Patrol implemented the Border Safety Initiative (BSI) in an effort to to reduce injuries and prevent deaths among migrants attempting to cross the border illegally. A recent Government Accountability Office report, analyzing data from the BSI, the National Center for Health Statistics, and state vital registries, shows that an increasing number of migrants die while crossing the southwest border. The analysis finds consistent trends in the numbers, locations, causes, and characteristics of deaths along the southwest border between 1985 and 2005. Between 1995 and 2005, the number of deaths increased and more than doubled.
The report, Illegal Immigration: Border-Crossing Deaths Have Doubled Since 1995; Border Patrol's Efforts to Prevent Deaths Have Not Been Fully Evaluated (GAO-06-770, August 15, 2006) is available online:
Abstract / Highlights (PDF) / Full Report (PDF)
For more information, check the Government Publication Library's subject guide for immigration.