The arrest of undocumented immigrants on the Arizona border has decreased by 16 percent while deaths have dropped by 40 percent during the present fiscal year.
Andy Adame, spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona, told Efe that from Oct. 1 to March 1 some 42,600 immigrants have been detained, compared with 50,900 during the same period last year.
“We notice that far fewer immigrants are crossing the border, particularly in the eastern desert region where we previously reported a large proportion of the deaths and rescues,” Adame said.
The number of undocumented immigrants’ deaths has also declined during the current 2014 fiscal year to some 31 fatalities. During the same period last year, 52 deaths had been reported, so that this year’s statistic represents a 40-percent drop.
The federal agent said that while climatic conditions are the same, he attributes the decline to the fact that the number of people trying to cross the border has fallen significantly.
One aspect that currently worries the Border Patrol is the amount of undocumented minors from Guatemala trying to cross the Arizona desert.
“We’re seeing very small kids traveling alone or with their mothers through some very dangerous places in the desert,” Adame said.
In his opinion, if the pattern continues, this summer could see an untold number of minors dying along the Arizona border.
To try to save lives, the Border Patrol changed some of the rescue towers it has in the desert to places where the greatest number of deaths have occurred.