This article addresses the dynamics of migration control along the Spanish-African borders and the associated problem of migrant deaths. The past decade and a half has seen rising numbers of migration attempts, large investments in control measures, and resulting geographical and organizational responses on the part of smugglers. Advanced surveillance and interception infrastructure on the border is a necessary but far from sufficient element in controlling unauthorized migration. The growth in the number of migrant deaths seems to result from an increased number of migration attempts. The risk of dying in the attempt appears to be constant or slightly falling.