Latest Global News | Migrants falling off ‘unclimbable’ southern border wall fill hospitals

EL PASO, Texas – It wasn’t until Alma Zavala was at the top of the 30-foot steel border fence that she realized how far she had to fall.

“I hugged the wall,” she said. “My hands were bleeding from the rough edges. The guide was screaming, ‘Let go! Let go!’ I dropped down and felt my bones break.”

Zavala, a young mother from Mexico, lay on a bed at an El Paso shelter on Wednesday in a room with four other migrants who survived terrifying falls from a barrier nearly three stories tall. Among them, they had undergone eight surgeries in the past month. Zavala’s right leg was fastened with an external fixator that resembled scaffolding.

Emerging public health data affirm what border county hospital trauma surgeons have been suspecting since the U.S. government began raising the height of the Southwest border wall to slow migration: the 30-foot fence causes more injuries and is far deadlier, than any barrier before it.

Physicians say the falls and fatalities are a public health crisis for border communities at a time when the Biden administration, and the state of Texas, are investing in new border fencing amid record apprehensions of migrants.