Tags: Immigration | Texas | migrants | remains | immigrants | Rick Perry | Mexico

Texas Volunteers Help ID Migrants' Remains

By    |   Tuesday, 07 October 2014 05:54 PM

A team of volunteers has a difficult job to do near the United States' border with Mexico: Identify the remains of immigrants discovered in South Texas.

Hundreds of people die every year after sneaking into Texas from Mexico, according to The Wall Street Journal. A group of scientists and immigrant-rights activists are working with Brooks County to help determine who the deceased are.

Lori Baker, an associate anthropology professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, volunteers her services when she's not working.

"It is depressing and overwhelming sometimes," Baker told The Wall Street Journal. "We have the remains of so many individuals that we're trying to identify."

Baker and the other volunteers are largely dependent on the relatives of the deceased, as they need a DNA sample to match the DNA they extract from the bodies — which are often nothing more than bones.

The Journal reports that more than 100 sets of remains were found in the Rio Grande Valley between October 2013 and August. The majority, according to the story, were found in Brooks County — situated roughly 70 miles north of the border and part of a popular route border-crossers take once they enter the U.S. illegally.

Baker and her colleagues often spend their own money and use their own equipment to help identify remains, reports the Journal.

In June, Texas Gov. Rick Perry warned there would be a "trail of tears" as illegal immigrants attempted to enter the U.S. in the searing summer heat.

"The federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars on foreign aid going into countries south of the United States," Perry said. "Yet this administration is being hesitant about spending some millions of dollars to secure the border. I think that’s what Americans are really upset about. Our federal government is the one that has the ability to work with those countries to stop this from happening."

Perry also said Central American nations need to step up and help stop migrants from trying to enter the U.S. illegally.

"We need to be sending a clear message to them: You have to do your part to stop this huge deluge of individuals coming up from your country," he said.

More than 300 dead illegals have been discovered in Brooks County since 2011, and Perry announced last month he would send National Guard troops to the area to help recover bodies.

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A team of volunteers has a difficult job to do near the United States' border with Mexico: Identify the remains of immigrants discovered in South Texas.
Texas, migrants, remains, immigrants, Rick Perry, Mexico
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 05:54 PM
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