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Climate change will make it even more dangerous for migrants in the desert

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, January 31, 2022 - 11:13am

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Border wall water bottle
Michel Marizco/KJZZ
Water bottles of the sort carried by people illegally crossing the border lie in the desert just north of the border wall in Sasabe, Arizona, in 2021.

A near-record number of migrants died along the U.S.-Mexico border last year. And, as The Show covered recently, more than 220 sets of human remains were found along the Arizona border last year. That’s according to a count by the group Humane Borders.

Migrants face dangerous conditions when they attempt to cross the mountainous desert terrain of southern Arizona, and new research shows those conditions are likely to only get worse because of climate change.

Jason De León is an anthropology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is co-author of the study. The Show spoke with him to learn about the research and the relationship between climate change and migration at its root.

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