Donald Trump’s “impenetrable” border wall has resulted in increased migrant deaths and devastating injuries from falling, says a new study that analyzed the effect of the new barriers on a southern California hospital, reports The Guardian. The U.S. replaced more than 400 miles of existing barriers that were between six and 17 feet tall with a 30-foot steel wall, and added nearly 50 miles of new barrier under Trump who campaigned on the promise of “securing” the borders and routinely demonized migrants. The wall has been far from Trump’s promise of being “virtually impenetrable.” Smugglers breached what he called the “Rolls-Royce” of barriers more than 3,000 times since its construction. Though the former president said his wall “can’t be climbed”, migrants have continued scaling the barrier, facing great peril. Last month a woman died while attempting to scale the wall in Arizona after her leg became trapped in a climbing harness and she was left hanging upside down.
A study published in the Jama surgery journal on Friday, found an unprecedented increase in the number of falls from the border wall in San Diego and Imperial counties. The report is one of the first efforts to calculate the effects of Trump’s wall on migrants. The University of California San Diego trauma center saw a major increase in the number of people admitted with falling injuries from 67 cases between 2016 and 2018 to 375 cases between 2019 and 2021. During that same time, the number of deaths rose from zero to 16. Trauma doctors say the rise in injuries is related to the increase of the height of the wall. “The height increase of the border wall along the San Ysidro and El Centro sectors was touted as making the barrier ‘unclimbable’, but that has not stopped people from attempting to do so with consequential results,” said Amy Liepert, an author of the study and medical director of acute care surgery at UC San Diego Health. “This is an unseen public health crisis happening right now.”