Cindy Carcamo
June 7, 2013

The numbers of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally into this country are at historical lows, but a report released Wednesday shows that the death rates among these migrants are at an all-time high in the southern Arizona desert.

The deaths have likely increased because those who still choose to cross the border illegally are traveling for longer periods of time — mostly on foot — through more remote areas to avoid detection by border enforcement officials, suggest data collected by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner.

The country is dealing with a relatively new mass death phenomenon, said Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona and co-author of the report.

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