The yearly count for migrant deaths at the United States-Mexico border has already surged to an all-time high, despite three months being left in the 2021-22 fiscal year, according to the Washington Examiner's interpretation of data provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Three federal law enforcement officials have also confirmed the Examiner's reporting on the CBP data, which covers October 2021 through June 2022.
During that stretch, 609 border deaths were reported, eclipsing the 566 deaths from October 2020 to September 2021 — the previous annual high.
"It seems like a daily occurrence [that] people are dying," a senior Border Patrol official recently told the Examiner.
Another border official reportedly added, "The way it's going, we could hit 700 [deaths] pretty soon."
The Border Patrol oversees the vast amount of land dividing the U.S. and Mexico, with approximately 19,500 federal agents monitoring nearly 2,000 miles of terrain.
The "609" figure includes the unfortunate incident from last month, when 53 migrants died while being housed in a hot, airless tractor-trailer rig outside of San Antonio, Texas — marking this nation's most deadly single occurrence involving illegal aliens at or near the border.
Since President Joe Biden assumed office in January 2021, more than 1,000 migrant deaths have taken place at the border. Comparatively, for the fiscal years of 2019 and 2020, representing the second half of President Donald Trump's time in the White House, migrant death counts were 300 and 247, respectively.
The CBP reports that some of the migrant deaths on Biden's watch involve people falling while trying to climb or scale down the immense border wall — a President Trump-era creation.
"Any needless death at the US-Mexico border is tragic. It is time we fix our broken immigration system — but any reform efforts must begin with securing our borders," said Rep. Mayra Flores, R-Texas, who recently became the first Republican to win her Texas border district in more than 140 years.
"Just five days ago, [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas said the border is 'secure,' to which I say this is not only intellectually dishonest but also an outright lie," said Flores.
The number of illegal crossings have reportedly increased every month of 2022, with June serving as the latest peak number — at approximately 192,000.
The above figures might be substantially higher, if it wasn't for the federal courts.
Technically, the Trump-era public health order, otherwise known as Title 42, remains intact; but that's only because the Biden administration still must proceed through the courts to rescind the ruling, in full.
In May, a federal judge in Louisiana upheld Title 42 order, ruling that not doing so would lead to "irreparable harm" at the border.
Title 42 was originally implemented as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, preventing the spread of communicable diseases in the country.
And earlier this spring, 24 states blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from repealing Title 42, which the Biden administration had promised to remove by early May.
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