A woman died as she tried to swim across the US-Mexican border with a group of migrants, officials say

U.S. Border Patrol agents were notified shortly before midnight Friday that a group of about 70 people were trying 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 news release .
The Border Patrol figures record 557 migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border in the financial year 2021

The woman, who is believed to be part of this group, was found unresponsive 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 used by smugglers’ organizations to strengthen their power and profits.” San Diego Sectors Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in the written statement. “We will work tirelessly to prosecute and bring those responsible for this tragedy to justice.”

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

The westernmost part of the U.S.-Mexican border overlooks the Pacific Ocean, inside California's Border Field State Park outside of San Diego, and is adjacent to a public beach in Tijuana, Mexico.
The fiscal year 2021, which ended Sept. 30, saw more migrant deaths at the U.S. southern border than in any previous year, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Border Patrol.
There were 557 deaths at the southwestern border during that fiscal year. This is an increase from 254 deaths in the financial year 2020 and 300 deaths in 2019 – which marks a significant increase in a 30 record year for border crossings. The agency’s death data are from 1998.

But the numbers do not represent all migrant deaths at the border, because state and local agencies can recover corpses without involving border patrols – meaning the number of deaths is likely to be higher.

A majority of migrant deaths at the border have been related to heat exposure, according to the agency. Migrants are often faced with dangerous terrain and can get lost when trying to get to the United States.

Several factors led to the increase in registered deaths, including more people crossing the border and increased efforts by the Agency to work with law enforcement partners to identify and document cases.


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