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IOM: US-Mexico Migrant Route Deadlier With Trump Immigration Policy

FILE - A vendor shows a mask used by migrants as protection from the low desert night temperatures they face during their treks to the United States, in Sonoyta, in the northern Mexican state of Sonora, April 4, 2017.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports the migrant route from Mexico to the United States has become deadlier since the Trump administration's tougher immigration policy came into force.

According to the IOM, 231 migrants have died this year trying to cross from Mexico into the United States. That, it said, is an 18-percent increase over the same period last year.

The agency said the past week has been particularly deadly. Besides the eight migrants who suffocated in the back of a boiling hot truck in San Antonio, Texas, it said three of the migrants who had been rescued were so severely dehydrated they succumbed while in the hospital.

In addition to those fatalities, the IOM reported six drownings along the Rio Bravo River separating Mexico from Texas. While the death toll continues to mount, IOM spokesman Joel Millman told VOA there are 40 percent fewer apprehensions of migrants on the border than at the same time last year.

"Our figures released today are 140,024 … migrant apprehensions on the U.S.-Mexico border through the end of June," he said. "That number last year was 267,746, … almost twice the number this year. So, if deaths are up and apprehensions are down, by definition, the route is deadlier because people are crossing in fewer numbers, but dying in more numbers. So, per capita, yes, it appears to be deadlier.

The IOM, which tracks migrant deaths globally, said this has been a bad week in Mexico. It reported a recent worldwide total of 3,282 migrant deaths has increased by 83. It said at least 70 of the new fatalities were in Mexico.