Woman dies trying to swim across US-Mexico border with group of migrants, officials say| Top stories

Woman dies trying to swim across US-Mexico border with group of migrants, officials say

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U.S. Border Patrol officers were told shortly before midnight Friday that a group of about 70 people were attempting to swim around the barrier between Tijuana, Mexico and the beach at Border Field State Park in San Diego. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a press release. Release.

The woman, who is believed to be part of that group, was found unconscious and could not be resuscitated, the agency said. The San Diego medical examiner took custody of her body after responding to the area.

“This is yet another example of the ruthless tactics smuggling organizations use to boost their power and profits.” San Diego Area Chief Patrol Officer Aaron Heitke said in the written statement. “We will work tirelessly to prosecute and bring to justice those responsible for this tragedy.”

The agency said it apprehended 36 Mexican citizens who swam across the border, including 13 who were rescued from the water by the US Coast Guard. All 36 were taken to a border patrol station for treatment.

The westernmost part of the US-Mexico border overlooks the Pacific Ocean, inside California's Border Field State Park, outside of San Diego, and next to a beach public in Tijuana, Mexico.
Fiscal year 2021, which ended on September 30, saw more migrant deaths at the southern United States border than in any previous year, according to data released Thursday by the US Border Patrol.
There were 557 deaths at the southwest border during this fiscal year. This represents an increase from 254 fatalities in fiscal 2020 and 300 fatalities in 2019, marking a significant increase in a record 30 year for border crossings. The agency’s death data is from 1998.

But the numbers don’t represent all migrant deaths at the borders, as state and local agencies can recover the bodies without involving the border patrol, meaning the death toll is likely higher.

The majority of migrant deaths at borders are linked to heat exposure, according to the agency. Migrants often face dangerous terrain and can get lost as they try to get to the United States.

Several factors have led to the increase in the number of recorded deaths, including more people crossing the border and an increased effort by the agency to work with law enforcement partners to identify and document cases.

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