Beyond child detentions, other surging stats reflect grim reality of border crisis

A Customs and Border Protection spokesman said the agency had not compiled death statistics for the broader southwest border last year. But in fiscal year 2019, right before the pandemic struck, Border Patrol agents found more than 300 unidentified migrant bodies along the border, the most since 2016.

These statistics are “a somber reminder of human smugglers’ cruelty and the hazards migrants face in their dangerous journey to the U.S.,” CBP said in a statement last year.

Self, the former Border Patrol agent, noted that smugglers often lie to migrants about what awaits them at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Smugglers only care about “the bottom dollar,” Self said. Migrants are “just like a piece of beef” to them.