Mass Casualty Event at the Border Wall

On Saturday, a minimum of ten migrants sustained injuries after plummeting from a border wall in California. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department declared the situation a “mass casualty” event following a request for assistance from Border Patrol agents for the injured individuals near Border Field State Park, as per local news outlets. The injured parties were rushed to nearby hospitals in six ambulances, with some having sustained fractures. In certain instances, uninjured children accompanied their parents in the ambulances.

Pedro Rios, who heads the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S./Mexico Border Program, stated that injuries among migrants attempting to scale the wall to enter the U.S. are a common occurrence. San Diego is recognized as one of the most active routes for illegal crossings. Rios revealed that he was present at the wall before the incident and observed over 100 people in the vicinity. He inquired about their crossing methods, and they confirmed they had scaled the border wall. Rios suspects that the rainy weather made the wall slippery, resulting in more people falling.

The American Friends Service Committee, which regularly witnesses cases of people getting injured from falls or hand burns from using ropes to descend the border wall, has been reached out for additional comments via its website. This incident follows the introduction of an anti-climbing feature to new sections of the barrier being constructed at Friendship Park, located between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. These metal rooftop-like segments are a prototype and will be incorporated into other parts of the wall if they prove effective in deterring migrants from climbing the wall, as per reports.

Rios expressed concerns last month that this feature could potentially be fatal. He noted an increasing number of people falling from the border wall and requiring medical attention. He added that if they fall onto the Mexican side, it would be challenging to determine the danger posed by this new feature.

Immigration has become a significant issue in the 2024 presidential race, with a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump widely anticipated. A recent Monmouth University poll revealed that 84 percent of Americans view illegal immigration as a “serious” or “very serious” issue for the country. The survey also found that over half of Americans (53 percent) support the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, while 46 percent are against it.