Immigration Reform 2013: Map Tracks Migrant Deaths Along the AZ Border, and It's Horrifying

This is truly one of the most horrifying maps I have ever seen. Each of those red markers indicates the death of someone along Arizona's border.


The map is part of the Arizona OpenGIS and tracks the deaths of migrant persons in Pima County, Arizona. The app uses information provided by the medical examiner and through the use of a grant from the Humane Borders project. The map tracks deaths since 2001 and individuals can sort the data based on what information they have on their loved ones.


Deaths along America's border have substantially increased in recent years. As individuals struggle to find a way into the country they may be forced to navigate dangerous terrain or wander along the desert until they die of thirst, starvation or suffer other grievous injury.

There is no federal provision that requires statistics to be collected on how many people perish along the U.S. borders. The current immigration reform being considered by Congress and its 300 amendments do not provide for the collection of these kinds of statistics. Hopefully, with publication of Pima Counties Open GIS mapping system some member of Congress will take up the mantle and include this non-controversial provision into reform.

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Andrea Ayres-Deets

PM Politics Intern- M.A. in Writing from the University of Warwick. Lover of sci-fi, awkward situations, and coffee.

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