Friday, January 22, 2021
With the drastic increases in border enforcement that began in earnest in the early 1990s, the death toll of migrants in the U.S./Mexico border region has grown as well. ImmigrationProf has regularly blogged about death on the border.
Dr. Kate Spradley, an anthropologist at Texas State University, writes for the Daily Beast about her team’s mission: examining and identifying migrant skeletons found in mass graves in Texas:
"Nothing can convey the reality of the situation in the same way as watching the new documentary Missing in Brooks County, which tells the story of the Roman family searching for their son Homero. Homero was deported to Mexico after a traffic stop, to a country he hadn’t visited in over two decades. He then attempted the dangerous journey back across the border to reunite with his family. Homero’s whereabouts are unknown since 2015 when he went missing in Brooks County. His family in Houston grieves his absence to this day. His disappearance is but one of thousands of unsolved cases that have built up over the decades.
Although federal policy impacts migration, there is no federal policy regarding death investigation and identification; rather, it relies on state and local policy. California has a regional medical examiner system, New Mexico a state system, and Arizona has a medical examiner’s office close to the border."