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On average, how many people die per year while illegally crossing the U.S./Mexico border?

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From 1998 to 2020, about 8,050 people died while illegally crossing the U.S./Mexico border, or an average of 350 people per year. For as far back as full data extends, border crossing deaths were lower during Donald Trump's presidency than any other. While some people who are considering illegal immigration react to tighter border security by taking more dangerous paths, others respond by choosing not to make the trip at all. The net effect of these factors is unknown because many other variables can impact border crossing deaths. However, the lower number of deaths under Trump run contrary to a 2013 article from U.S. News & World Report which claimed that increased border security causes "a spike in migrant deaths."

DocumentationBorder Crossing DeathsBorder Barrier Effects

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