No More Deaths / No Más Muertes, a ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, in a 2012 Issues and Themes publication titled "Border Militarization," available at the No More Deaths website, stated:

“Begun in 1993 and extended to the entire southwest border by 1997, the policy of massive concentration of enforcement resources along the border has transformed the southwest borderlands into a perilous militarized zone and had cataclysmic consequences for migrants and border communities. This militarized enforcement strategy, dubbed ‘prevention-through-deterrence’ by Border Patrol, was conceived to intentionally force undocumented migrants away from urban areas to attempt crossings in more remote and dangerous terrain. Intended to increase the cost and risk associated with crossing the border without authorization, the policy has done just that, resulting in the deaths of many thousands since its implementation…

Today, over 18,500 Border Patrol agents roam the southwest border, employing a vast array of advanced technology including all manner of electronic surveillance equipment, unattended ground sensors, Predator drone aircraft, and Blackhawk helicopters. The borderlands now resemble a war zone more closely than at any point in history. Although fewer people appear to be crossing the border in recent years, a higher percentage of people perish along the way, suggesting that the border is now more dangerous than ever.”