Migrant deaths and human trafficking in the US

By the numbers

When 10 smuggled migrants died last summer in San Antonio from being trapped in a scorching hot semi truck with almost no air to breathe, the country was appalled.

But their deaths represent just a fraction.

Hundreds of people die each year trying to flee their homelands and cross the US-Mexico border.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Death toll

US Customs & Border Protection, CNN Digital

And hundreds of thousands of people get caught at the southern US border each year.

John Moore/Getty Images

Border apprehensions

US Customs & Border Protection, CNN Digital

Apprehensions at the border began to drop in the mid-2000s after the George W. Bush administration doubled the number of border agents.

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Between October 2016 and July 2017,


unaccompanied children and


family units were apprehended at the southern border

John Moore/Getty Images

Most family units apprehended crossing the southern US border are from countries other than Mexico.

US Customs & Border Protection, CNN Digital

Smuggled migrants are more at risk of being human trafficking victims — transported by force or abduction and exploited.

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

In recent years, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has seen an increase in cases reported.

Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

Cases reported

National Human Trafficking Hotline, CNN Digital