The Real Story Behind Excessive Illegal Immigrant Deaths in Brooks County, Texas

The numbers at the southern border are staggering. This fiscal year, Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) had roughly 2.5 million encounters with people crossing illegally into the United States. That’s a significant jump over last year’s record of 1.9 million. Add to that another approximately 900,000 “getaways,” the ones who risk everything to avoid being caught—and who law enforcement worry about most. They’re also the most likely to die along the way.

Brooks County, Texas, has a population of barely 7,000 people, yet it’s the nation’s busiest corridor for illegal immigration. That’s why CPB erected a checkpoint there in Falfurrias, 70 miles north of the border, in 1940. Anyone trying to evade the checkpoint has to go around it—making a dangerous, disorientating, and often deadly trek through the brush. As a result, Brooks County deals with more illegal immigrant deaths than anywhere else.

Sheriff Benny Martinez breaks down the narratives and gives us a reality check on how that impacts his tiny county and national security. Then we go into the brush with Captain Daniel Davila to see first-hand what makes the journey so deadly.

Finally, in America Q&A, we ask: Who should pay the price for the flood of illegal immigrants overwhelming border communities?

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