‘Mass Casualty’ Event at US-Mexico Border

SAN DIEGO, California – Over the weekend, at least ten migrants were injured after falling from a border wall in California. The incident occurred near Border Field State Park, prompting a “mass casualty” response from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Local news outlets reported that Border Patrol agents requested assistance for the injured individuals, who were subsequently transported to nearby hospitals. Some of the injured migrants suffered fractures, while uninjured children accompanied their parents in the ambulances.

Pedro Rios, who leads the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S./Mexico Border Program, noted that injuries resulting from attempts to scale the border wall are not uncommon. San Diego is known for being one of the busiest routes for illegal crossings. Rios revealed that before the incident, he observed over 100 people near the wall and learned that they had scaled it. He suspects that the rainy weather may have made the wall slippery, leading to more falls.

The American Friends Service Committee, an organization that frequently witnesses cases of injuries caused by falls or rope burns from descending the border wall, has been contacted for further comments on this incident. The recent incident follows the installation of an anti-climbing feature on new sections of the barrier at Friendship Park, located between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. These metal rooftop-like segments are prototypes that may be implemented in other parts of the wall if they prove effective in deterring climbing.

Rios expressed concerns about the potential fatality of this feature, as the number of people falling from the wall and requiring medical attention has been increasing. He also emphasized the difficulty of assessing the danger posed by the new feature if individuals fall on the Mexican side.

Immigration has become a prominent issue in the 2024 presidential race, with a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on the horizon. According to a recent Monmouth University poll, 84 percent of Americans consider illegal immigration a “serious” or “very serious” issue for the country. The survey also revealed that 53 percent of Americans support the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, while 46 percent are against it.