US-Mexico Border

Migrants Are Falling Off Trump's 30-Foot Border Wall Into US and Going to the Hospital

In the El Paso sector, the Border Patrol and paramedics have responded to 229 injuries of wall crossers, including broken legs and brain and spinal injuries

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

In the Border Patrol’s El Paso sector, which includes the entire border between Mexico and New Mexico, the Trump administration built 133 miles of bollard-style fencing to replace a portion of the earlier barrier, made of two layers of mesh netting.

Human smugglers have built ladders that can scale the fence and force migrants to the top, often telling them they can climb down on the other side. But many lack the upper body strength to do it or are not able to hold on to the hot steel posts. 

Border Patrol agents and local paramedics tell NBC News they have responded to 229 injuries since October 2021, including some fatalities, as migrants scale the Mexican side of the steel barrier and then fall 30 feet onto U.S. soil. Broken ankles, broken legs and even brain and spinal injuries are common, Agent Valeria Morales said. 

David Peinado/NurPhoto via Getty Images
El Paso Texas firefighters rescue the body of a man who died while trying to cross the border, apparently the man fell into the irrigation canal when he tried to scale the border wall, on Nov. 24, 2021.

Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request for comment or provide overall numbers on border wall injuries across the 2,000-mile southwest border.

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