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Immigrant deaths surge in South Texas county

Published On: Dec 31 2012 07:36:56 AM CST

FALFURRIAS, Texas (AP) -

The number of illegal immigrants who died while trying to make it around an inland checkpoint in South Texas this year has surged, even though apprehensions of illegal immigrants along the southwest border have fallen in recent years.
    
By late December the remains of 127 people - nearly double the previous year - had been found on ranchland in Brooks County surrounding the Border Patrol's Falfurrias checkpoint.
    
The county's top elected official Judge Raul Ramirez said the county recently ran out of space for "John Doe" graves at its Sacred Heart Cemetery.
    
The rise comes in spite of greater capabilities to pinpoint 911 calls in the vast scrubland and Border Patrol's placement of some emergency beacons where immigrants can signal for help.