Maria Inés Taracena
The gloomy border wall and a Border Patrol watch tower in Nogales, Mexico.
Border Patrol saw a decrease in the number of suspected migrants found dead in Arizona last fiscal year, and they attribute it to "enhanced efforts" to rescue and assist immigrants attempting to cross the desert.
The agency reported 68 remains in fiscal 2015, down from 110 in fiscal year 2014—the figures include the Tucson and Yuma BP sectors, says a Customs and Border Protection press release.
U.S. Border Patrol agents working along Arizona’s border with Mexico stepped up their campaign in fiscal year 2015 to save distressed migrants while giving them options to call for help. As a result, agents report finding fewer deceased migrants as calls for assistance hit new highs.
Since March 2015, CBP's Joint Intelligence and Operations Center coordinates responses to 911 calls from migrants. To sum it up, the JIOC assists emergency dispatchers in Pima, Maricopa Pinal, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties to facilitate getting in touch with Border Patrol.
The press release says that between March and September of last year, Border Patrol and JIOC assisted with 467 calls, and a total of 804 people were rescued within the Tucson and Yuma sectors.
Migrants are being encouraged to call 911 before their situation becomes an emergency. The sooner they call, the faster CBP resources can respond. Dehydration, injury or hypothermia can quickly become critical without proper care.
The Pima County Office of Medical Examiner
counted the remains of 129 undocumented migrants in 2014—the majority from Mexico and Guatemala. And as of Dec. 31, 2014, more than 800 bodies under the medical examiner's custody remain unidentified.
The office hasn't yet released numbers for 2015.