this despite the fact that illegal immigration is down
Illegal immigrations from Mexico into the U.S. may be down, but 2012 is shaping up to be potentially the worst year ever for illegal immigrants deaths from heat exhaustion and other conditions in the unforgiving Texas Brush Country, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"A lot of it has to do with the heat, a lot of it has to do with the fact that they are in no condition to be walking through the brush," said Benny Martinez, a Sheriff's Deputy in Brooks County who is in charge of dealing with immigrant deaths in the county.
He says 51 suspected illegal immigrants have been found dead in deep south Texas so far this year, compared with 31 in all of 2011.
"I'm thinking some of them have done it once before or twice before and they're thinking they can come back and do it again," he said. "But they're not in the same health."
Many immigrant smugglers scam Latin American citizens anxious to start a new life in America by driving them just north of the Rio Grande, and then telling him that Houston, San Antonio, even Chicago are 'just over that hill,' and the landscape they will be walking through is lush, just like their native Guatemala or Oaxaca.
In addition, many illegals get lost in the Brush Country, which is devoid of landmarks and is like walking 'through the ocean.'
Martinez says not only does the small Brooks County Sheriff's Office have to investigate cases of illegal immigrants dying in his county, he has to try to identify the bodies, find and notify relatives back home, and even bury unclaimed bodies.