Texas County Overwhelmed by Dead Illegal Immigrants
Sparsely-populated Brooks County saw 129 bodies last year
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2013 9:18 AM CDT
In this Aug. 23, 2013, photo, rancher Lavoyger Durham checks a 55-gallon he keeps filled with water jugs and marked by a flag on his ranch, near Falfurrias, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – Last year, a border county in Texas recovered 129 bodies belonging to immigrants who were attempting to make the trek from Mexico only to be felled by the elements; the toll stands at 76 so far this year. That's a staggering number for Brooks County, which has historically seen about 60 bodies a year and had a toll second only to the 171 found dead in Arizona's Pima County in 2012. But the latter has nearly a million residents, while Brooks County's population sits at just over 7,100. The AP makes two points: First, that the numbers suggest migration routes are shifting from long-trodden paths into Arizona to ones that enter deep southern Texas. Second, that it's putting a real strain on the county, which has decided to transport all remains 90 miles to Webb County so DNA sampling and more thorough attempts at identification can occur; the county's chief deputy will drive the bodies there himself.

Last year's 129 bodies overwhelmed the county budget, and despite the fact that local officials believe it's a federal problem, the county hasn't seen any federal money. The immigrants are typically dropped off south of a Border Patrol checkpoint and must hike for two or three days before being picked up and taken to Houston. One local ranch manager says he's probably found 25 bodies on the property in 23 years, and now he's doing his part to help: Though he wants a double-layer border fence erected, in the meantime, he's installing water stations for immigrants to use. "I'm trying to expose the killing fields of Brooks County," he says. "We're just trying to be human about it."

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Showing 3 of 143 comments
MaximusFubaris
Sep 24, 2013 7:14 AM CDT
Heck! Just let them come over the border and welcome them with a parade and fireworks, and tell them that for the next 5 years, you will be an Indentured Servant of some American Citizen for cinco anos, and then you will get your Green Card and Citizen of the US papers. Just like they did when they started this country with the Pilgrims.
Libris_Fidelis
Sep 24, 2013 5:49 AM CDT
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT! I am getting SO sick and tired of people's stupidity in this country! "There is NO such thing as an "illegal immigrant" -- provided they follow the laws of their new country! ALL immigrants are LEGAL because they have officially applied for entry and have the necessary approved government paperwork for them to live in the new country. The "im" part of the word "immigrant" means "not"... immigrants are NOT migrants, they are legally-accepted persons approved for residency in a new country. ILLEGAL ALIENS however are NOT immigrants... illegal aliens are trespassers WITHOUT any approval by the secondary country, and so they are criminals SNEAKING illegally across national borders and trying not to get caught according to the laws of EVERY NATION IN THE WORLD !!!! Try sneaking into Mexico and you will be PUT IN PRISON !!!! -- Libris Fidelis March 2011"
Ivan_the_Gypsy
Sep 24, 2013 1:12 AM CDT
Dead immigrants? Don't they mean illegal aliens? Leave the bodies where they are and they'll dry out and maybe be an example to the other illegals who ilegally try to cross the desert.