death of immigrants in borders from mexico and the us

History of borders’ deaths

The current situation on the borders between Mexico and the US is very delicate due to the living conditions of immigrants (to deepen this issue, check our previous blogs). Sometimes, it can even lead to death.

In December 2019, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported the highest number of border deaths in the history of the US.

What are the exact figures?

The IOM reported 497 deaths in 2019, with a 26% increase compared to 2018, which is a very worrying figure for the immigrant population and their advocates.

During 2019, only in Arizona’s border, 38 more deaths were reported than in 2018, which is 29% more.

In 2017, the IOM stated that the number of deaths had increased with a total of 417. Actually, 237 immigrant deaths were reported only during the first 7 months of that year.

What are the causes?

Normally, the greatest number of deaths occur when immigrants try to cross the border illegally and make long trips where the danger is constant.

They cross deserts, rivers, seas and sometimes they spend days without eating or sleeping.

Trump in the presidency since 2017

According to the IOM, death figures increased in 2017 and have increased since then because Trump’s government immigration policies (he took office in 2017) have made the legal residence process more difficult in the US.

Several studies show that what the current government wants to do is reduce illegal immigration, however, the measures they have taken are not quite appropriate for the expected results.

Now, immigration processes are longer and tedious, therefore, immigrants often decide to cross the border illegally because of the desperation to leave their current situation.

What happens if immigrants are arrested before crossing the border?

This is the second cause of deaths at the borders. Immigrants who are detained are being taken to “temporary prisons” where they remain in a state of constant negligence.

The situation at border facilities has helped to increase immigrant death cases during the past two years.

Remarkable cases:

  • Carlos Gregorio Hernández: A 16-year-old was found dead in his cell. Carlos arrived alone to the border. He was a minor and was therefore taken to a juvenile retention center in McAllen.
    According to official reports, the young man received medical attention as he had a flu and his autopsy shows that he had an infection caused by the flu. However, he was never transferred to a medical center to receive the help.
    His body was found by his cellmate (a child too) around 5:50 in the morning in May 2019. The official video shows that the young man had had several seizures before he passed away.
  • Maria Celeste Ochoa: A 22-year-old girl died last Sunday from “autoimmune hepatitis” that worsened due to liver failure.
    Maria was seeking asylum because her ex-husband constantly mistreated her and had caused her a miscarriage.
    She asked for medical attention while she was detained but passed away without any treatment.
  • Roylan Hernandez: A 43-year-old man who was locked up in isolation because he refused to eat.
    The medical staff had ordered psychiatric treatment 3 times for Roylan, however, the authorities ignored this suggestion and he committed suicide in isolation.
    Roylan came to the US to request Asylum for the third time, however, he was arrested without permission to conduct a decent immigration process.

Deaths could have been prevented

The deaths could have been prevented according to an Associated Press investigation showing that the conditions were completely curable with proper medical attention.

Apparently, according to the study, there are signs of negligence and violations of government policies by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE), as they did not follow the instructions regarding medical care that must be offered to immigrants.

What are the repercussions of reported deaths?

With the reported figures of deaths at the borders, different entities are now doing studies to see what is leading to this situation.

If we look from a general perspective, the new immigration policies (even if they want to have a decent purpose) are not complying with the established norms.

If the government wants to reduce illegal immigration by keeping immigrants in detention centers, the conditions must be adequate to receive a large number of people who can obtain medical and general care.

The most appropriate solution is to follow a legal process with specialized attorneys.

If you need help obtaining residency in the US or if you have any questions about an immigration issue, then please don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE Consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys.

Alternatively, simply call Motion Law today at: (202) 918-1799