Despite Fewer Attempts, More Die Crossing Border

378 died in 11-month period

Sunday, Oct 4, 2009  |  Updated 6:27 AM PDT
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Despite Fewer Attempts, More Die Crossing Border

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Mexicans are still being arrested at the border, but for an entirely new reason.

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The number of immigrants who died while sneaking across America's southern border is expected to surpass the previous year's total.

      That comes at a time when fewer people are getting caught entering the country illegally.
     
The Border Patrol said 378 people perished near the border during the 11-month period that ended Aug. 31. The toll is likely to rise as the government finishes its tally for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
     
There were 390 deaths in the 2008 fiscal year.
     
More than half the deaths in the fiscal year that just ended were reported in Arizona. Texas ranked second, followed by California and New Mexico.
     
The leading cause of death was exposure to the heat. Other causes included rollovers of smuggling vehicles, and drownings in rivers and drainage canals.
    

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