Hospitals fill with migrants injured falling from Trump’s ‘unclimbable’ border wall

At least nine migrants died in El Paso, Texas, in falls from border wall last year

Michelle Del Rey
Wednesday 22 November 2023 17:56 GMT
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US border wall under construction

Donald Trump’s 30ft tall border wall has seen hundreds of migrants sustaining serious injuries from falls as they try to climb it rather than deter them, according to medical officials.

Hospitals in El Paso and San Diego, border cities located in Texas and California, are admitting one person a day for injuries sustained while attempting to climb the wall, reported USA Today.

Some of the injuries include shattered ankles, feet, leg bones and more severe spinal and cranial injuries, the outlet reported.

An expert on the injuries, Dr Susan McLean, told the newspaper that the falls carry a mortality rate higher than COVID-19 in the general population. Approximately 148 people died at the border in fiscal year 2023.

Officials at The University of California San Diego Health Medical Center told the newspaper that they’d received 345 patients who sustained injuries from border falls last year.

El Paso University Medical Center said nine patients had died from similar falls last year, while 326 people sustained injuries.

An aerial image shows migrants waiting along the border wall to surrender to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol agents for immigration and asylum claim processing after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United Staes on the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, on May 10, 2023
An aerial image shows migrants waiting along the border wall to surrender to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol agents for immigration and asylum claim processing after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United Staes on the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, on May 10, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

Regardless, both the Biden administration and state agencies are expanding the barrier. About 70 miles of fencing in south Texas will be installed this year, while an 18-foot fence in San Diego will be switched out for a 30-foot one.

Mr Biden previously said he had no choice but to keep building the structure.

“Money was appropriated for the border wall,” he said in October. “I tried to get them to reappropriate. They didn’t.

“In the meantime, there’s nothing under the law other than they have to use the money for what it is appropriated.”

According to the newspaper, women injured from climbing the wall tried to scale the structure using a makeshift rope ladder and plastic pipe.

While pitching the wall to US taxpayers, Mr Trump boasted that the barrier’s design would make it unscalable, referring to it as a “world class security system”, in 2019.

He ultimately spent $15bn on building the structure.

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