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Mexico-U.S. border-crossing deaths are at a 15-year low

A total of 307 people died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2014, which ended in September, The Associated Press reports, citing U.S. Border Patrol figures. That's the lowest number of deaths since 1999; in fiscal 2013, 445 border-crossers were found dead.

The Border Patrol credits the drop in deaths to more immigrants turning themselves in to authorities, fewer trying to cross through the treacherous Arizona desert, a Spanish-language media campaign warning against crossing on foot, and an increase in Border Patrol rescue efforts. "I think we can all agree that crossing the border is an illegal act, but nothing that should be assigned the penalty of death," Tucson Sector Division Chief Raleigh Leonard tells AP.