Migrant workers crossing borders worldwide are denied the basic rights to life and subjected to degrading treatment.
Many countries have responded to situations of increased illegal migration by sending additional government agents to patrol the border. With a rush to place more border patrol agents and military troops at the border, these agents are receiving less training and are less closely scrutinized before being hired. The lack of training only increases the likelihood of agents committing more human rights violations against migrants crossing the border and a higher potential for border deaths. With more agents along borders, the possibilities of confrontation alone are significantly increased.
In the USA, the number of border patrol agents doubled between 1993 and 1997 In 1997, President Clinton unveiled a plan to send an additional 1,000 new border patrol agents and 348 new inspector for ports of entry along the United States-Mexico border The budget for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) more than doubled over the period up to 1998. A General Accounting Office report revealed that the INS budget topped off at $3.1 Billion in 1997, up from $1.5 Billion in 1993. Mexico has also increased its military presence along the Mexico-Guatemala border in an effort to curb the wave of Central and South Americans trying to make their way to the USA. The increase in military presence has increased the number of human rights abuses along the Mexico-Guatemala border.
Radical steps to patrol the South African border are also planned to stop the influx of migrants from neighboring countries. South Africa has experienced a flood of illegal African migrants fleeing economic and social instability. All of this in response to the more than 180,000 migrants who were repatriated to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia in 1997.
Along the Thai-Burma border, the Shan. long considered a source of seasonal labor, are being turned away and therefore forced to camp out along the border with Burmese refugees." In an effort to end these camps and the waves of people entering, Thai officials have pressured some groups into leaving. The Shan are left defenseless as Thai officials "mysteriously" disappear just before Burmese authorities attack these refugee camps.