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Surveillance has a body count

In an aerial view, cameras on a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) surveillance tower monitor activity along the U.S.-Mexico border fence and the All-American Canal on March 8, 2024 in Calexico, California
Photo by John Moore / Getty Images

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) just released updated data on migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border, and the results are staggering. At least 895 people died at the border during the 2022 fiscal year — a 57 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. This grim statistic makes 2022 the deadliest year on record for migrants attempting to come to the US, and it’s possible that the figure is an undercount.

For years, CBP has blamed the persistent rise in deaths on three factors: the summer heat, the ruggedness of the desert terrain, and the cruelty of smugglers who leave migrants to die there.

Climate change has indeed made summers hotter and drier, which means migrants who spend days or weeks trekking through remote stretches of…

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