Living, the Dead, and the New Disappeared on the Migrant Trail in Texas, was recently written and published by Dr. Christine Kovic, a professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake in collaboration with Houston United/Houston Unido. The summary findings lists a total of 271 deaths, which are recorded as migrant deaths for 2012, the highest number among the border states of California, Arizona, and Texas. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, most of the deaths, approximately 129, were concentrated in Brooks County, located in the center of the 13-county South Texas area, 70 miles north of the US/Mexico border. The Rio Grande Valley recorded the most deaths with 150, followed by the Laredo area with 90 deaths. This area consists of dry, harsh terrain known as South Texas plains and brush country with grasses, thorny brush, and cacti, and that has extremely hot and humid temperatures during the extended summer months.
“Migrant deaths have become the metrics of a failed border security policy.”
The major goal of the report is to call attention to the crisis and the dire need to take action to prevent more deaths among migrants crossing the US/Mexico border.
A key recommendation includes the installation of “water stations,” which the South Texas Human Rights Center is undertaking.
Acknowledgements listed in the report include a “special thanks” to María Jiménez, Tom Powers, Pat Hartwell, Gloria Rubac, and Stephanie Caballero, Alejandro Zuñiga, and Mesias Pedroza.
Also, the Texas Civil Rights Project, Eduardo Canales, Board President with the National Network of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Rafael Hernández, Director of los Angeles del Desierto/ Desert Angels.