Politically, there isn't much interest in cutting back on border security. The bipartisan Senate group working on reform has made increased border security part of its platform, and the presence of two Republican members of the group, Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, both from Arizona, virtually guarantees that border spending will be part of any deal.
Still, even as apprehensions have dropped along the border -- potentially due to increased security -- the number of recorded deaths hasn't decreased at the same rate. In the 2012 fiscal year, the overall number of deaths jumped, from 368 to 463.
And these are only the officials figures. Desert areas in Texas and Arizona are vast, so there's no way of knowing how many bodies aren't recovered.
The ramped up security in recent decades makes it increasingly difficult for migrants to cross the border illegally in certain places, like the area near San Diego or a section of the Arizona border called the Yuma sector. Advocates say that as a result, crossers are funnelled through more remote areas, which increases the odds of dying.