Monday, December 4, 2023

Smugglers Forcing Migrants to Scale 30-Foot High US Border Wall — With Sometimes Deadly Results: ‘Public health problem’; Border Wall Falls Leave Migrants With Devastating — and Costly — Injuries

Smugglers forcing migrants to scale 30-foot high US border wall — with sometimes deadly results: ‘Public health problem’
Callous human smugglers are nudging migrants to scale the 30-foot wall at the US border — resulting in hundreds getting seriously injured or killed from falling off.
Nine migrants were killed last year after plunging from the barrier between the US and Mexico at just one hospital in El Paso, with another 326 others treated for often horrific injuries from the falls of up to three stories, USA Today reported.
Through October of this year, another medical facility in San Diego reported 345 trauma injuries from wall falls, including 70 in October alone — an average of more than two a day.
The scene is repeated across the border.
“We noticed starting right around 2020 the numbers had gone up,” Dr. Susan McLean, surgical ICU director at the University Medical Center in El Paso, told USA Today.
“It qualifies as a public health problem,” McLean said. “It’s a preventable problem with serious consequences.”
The casualties come as thousands of migrants continue flocking to the border at the behest of greedy traffickers who deposit them at the Mexican side of the wall after often long and arduous journeys — leaving the desperate migrants little choice.
Once at the border wall the smugglers, often working quickly to avoid detection, typically throw a rope ladder over the top of the wall on the Mexican side.
Migrants have to pull themselves up it, but there is nothing on the US side leaving them to jump to the floor. During this perilous drop, most accidents happen.
“They don’t treat you like a queen,” one migrant who shattered her foot told the outlet. “You have to climb.” --->READ MORE HERE
Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times
Border Wall Falls Leave Migrants With Devastating — and Costly — Injuries:
Ambulances rush them daily to hospitals in El Paso, San Diego and Tucson, Ariz., writhing in pain — bones poking out of arms and legs; skulls cracked; spines shattered. The men and women arrive on stretchers flanked by an agent in the telltale green uniform of the U.S. Border Patrol.
“One look, and I know it’s another wall fall,” said Brian Elmore, an emergency medicine physician at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso.
The patients are all migrants who have crashed to the ground while trying to climb over the wall that separates Mexico and the United States for long stretches of the border.
In a quest to stop unauthorized immigration, the U.S. government has in recent years extended the length and height of the fortifications, and a new stretch has been authorized by the Biden administration. But many migrants have been undaunted by the barriers, and for hundreds of them, the result has been debilitating injuries that require multiple surgeries, according to physicians working in U.S. hospitals near the border.
President Donald J. Trump, who made “the wall” central to his immigration agenda, ordered construction in California of a double-layered, 30-foot-tall steel bollard barrier to replace more than 400 miles of fencing that ranged from eight feet to 17 feet in height.
Since the project was completed in 2019, the number of wall-fall patients admitted to the trauma center at U.C. San Diego Health trauma center has increased sevenfold, to 311 in 2022. This year, that number is expected to surpass 350, according to the hospital, which said the number of deaths from falls has gone from zero between 2016 and 2019 to 23 since then.
A comprehensive accounting of wall-related injuries and deaths does not exist, but physicians along the border have been stepping up efforts to track and study fall-related injuries and deaths. They say that the increase in recent years is significant even given the increase in border apprehensions, and that the influx of severely injured patients is straining U.S. hospitals along the border. --->READ MORE HERE
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