The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday revealed that it had documented nearly 700 migrant deaths or disappearances near the U.S. border with Mexico in 2022.
The 686 total migrants dead or missing in the area make the Mexican frontier the deadliest migrant land route worldwide. Roughly half of the disappearances or deaths were connected to attempts to cross either the Sonoran or Chihuahuan Deserts, which span the borders of both nations.
“These alarming figures are a stark reminder of the need for decisive action by States. Enhancing data collection is crucial. Ultimately, what is needed is for countries to act on the data to ensure safe, regular migration routes are accessible,” said IOM Regional Director for Regional Director for Central and North America and the Caribbean Michele Klein Solomon.
The IOM recorded 1,457 migrant deaths or disappearances in all of the Americas in 2022, meaning the border itself appears to be the site of nearly half of all migrant deaths or disappearances in the New World.
The UN findings come amid mounting scrutiny of President Joe Biden’s handling of immigration and border security. More than 6 million migrants have illegally entered in the Untied States since he took office.