(NewsSpace.com) – The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) recently completed an annual review of the death toll along the US-Mexico border, declaring it the deadliest land migrant route in the world. World officials warn that the death toll there has risen to alarming numbers, and they want American leaders to do more to improve migrant safety.
The IOM reported that 686 migrants died or went missing trying to cross the US-Mexico border in 2022. It noted that all of North and South America combined had a reported 1,457 migrant deaths and disappearances in that same year, which highlights just how dangerous the border region alone is.
Roughly 307 of the border crossing deaths occurred within the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts. Both regions have reputations for their barren landscapes, which can include very little water, difficult terrain, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and temperatures that get excessively hot during the day and freezing cold at night. Because the locations are extremely remote, officials believe additional, unreported deaths are likely in both of these deserts.
Cartel violence is another serious issue, one that plagues numerous border cities including Juarez and Tijuana — which Southwest Journal currently considers two of the 10 most dangerous cities in Mexico. The FBI states that the border land is nearly 2,000 miles long, making it an extensive stretch to keep safe. Problems such as trafficking, extortion, and murder are prevalent along much of the dividing region, and corrupt officials further add to the danger. The FBI even has task forces to fight corruption within the border control, another serious problem.
Other areas of concern include the Caribbean, which documented 350 migrant deaths in 2022, and the jungles between Colombia and Panama, which reported 141 deaths. The IOM believes the only way to reverse all of these trends is for leaders to improve humanitarian assistance and offer more legal pathways into neighboring countries.
Meanwhile, US officials struggle to deal with backlogs of asylum seekers as cities find themselves overwhelmed and their shelters overflowing.
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