5 Illegal Immigrants Found Dead in the Arizona Desert

Arizona Desert

The recent discovery of five dead immigrants in Arizona is a reminder of the hardships these people face in their desperate attempts to get into the U.S. All five are suspected of dying of dehydration. The Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team, in one case, responded to a 911 emergency call from the Pima County Sherriff’s department where 12 illegal immigrants had been found, one of which was dead. Also in Pima County, border agents found a dead body about 3 miles north of the border. Another woman was found dehydrated to death new San Miguel. BORSTAR located 15 illegal immigrants, all suffering from dehydration. A set of footprints leading away from the group revealed yet another body. In the Southwestern part of the state, Casa Grande agents found still another dead immigrant. All of these discoveries happened during the week of June 27-Aug. 3. Authorities attribute the rash of dehydration deaths to the 110+ degree weather in the region during that week.

Illegal immigrants who make it into the Southwest American desert have already braved a series of dangers. Many immigrants are transported from Central and South America in incredibly cramped, unventilated conditions with no water or food. Many ride through as much of Mexico as they can on the tops of passenger and cargo trains. In Northern Mexico, they face the drug cartels who are notoriously violent. Hundreds of dead bodies have been found in Northern Mexico this year alone, some in mass graves, some piled up in a barn. Cartels often kidnap immigrants in hopes of receiving ransom money from their families. When the money doesn’t show, the immigrants are killed. Also, drug cartels will coerce immigrants into trafficking drugs with them as they attempt to cross the border.

This doesn’t include sexual violence. Amnesty International recently released a report describing the dangers of migrating across Mexico. The report reads, “Women and girl migrants, especially those without legal status traveling in remote areas or on trains, are at heightened risk of sexual violence at the hands of criminal gangs, people traffickers, other migrants or corrupt officials. Sexual violence, or the threat of sexual violence, is often used as a means of terrorizing women and their relatives. Many criminal gangs appear to use sexual violence as part of the “price” demanded of migrants. According to some experts, the prevalence of rape is such that people smugglers may require women to have a contraceptive injection prior to the journey as a precaution against pregnancy resulting from rape.” While their hardships do not justify their illegal actions, they should create an awareness among Americans regarding the draw of the United States on many foreign peoples and the desperate situation these individuals must find themselves in within their home countries. Illegal immigrants are aware of the dangers they face. They are told by their friends, alerted by the media, and warned by traffickers themselves. However, they still think the possibility of a better life in America is worth the risk.