By Associated Press via New York Times
July 16, 2010
The number of deaths among illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona desert from Mexico could reach a new monthly high, a county medical examiner said Friday. Since July 1, the bodies of 40 illegal immigrants have been taken to the office of Dr. Bruce Parks, the Pima County medical examiner. At that rate, Dr. Parks said, the deaths could top the single-month record of 68 in July 2005. His office began tracking such deaths in 2000. Dr. Parks said his office, which handles immigrants’ bodies from three counties, was currently storing about 250 bodies and had to start using a refrigerated truck because of the recent increase. The authorities believe that the high number of deaths are likely due to above-average and unrelenting heat in southern Arizona this month and tighter border security that pushes immigrants to more remote, rugged and dangerous terrain.
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