Heightened Border Wall Linked to Rise in Serious Migrant Injuries

US, Mexican border wall that separates El Paso, Texas and Juarez
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PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images
 The cost of treating border wall-related fall injuries between 2019 and 2021 at UC San Diego Health was about $13 million, researchers said

The Hill- The number of migrants who suffered serious injuries or died after falling from the U.S.-Mexico border wall in California increased after the wall was heightened, according to a new study.

“This is an unseen public health crisis happening right now and it has significantly affected major local health care providers in San Diego,” Amy Liepert, the medical director of acute care surgery at UC San Diego Health said.

There were 67 people taken to UC San Diego Health’s trauma center for border wall-related fall injuries from 2016 to 2018. More than five times as many patients were treated for such injuries between 2019 and 2021. The adoption of Title 42— a policy that blocked migrants from entering the U.S. during the COVID-19 outbreak—also “may have increased the numbers and desperation of persons crossing the border away from ports of entry and increased the number of falls.”

What happens now? There have also been increased economic costs associated with treating such injuries, some of which have lasting impacts and require extensive treatment. Treating injuries requires the availability of resources at trauma centers that “were not accounted for in the federally appropriated funds to reinforce and heighten the border barrier system.”

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