Terrible fractures, punctured lungs and traumatic miscarriage: Jay Dusset noted that the severity of injuries to his patients is deteriorating as more migrants fall from the growing border wall in an effort to avoid the legal blockade imposed by the pandemic.

Yes and without serious obstacles for people trying to enter United States on its southern border the Covid crisis has added another: a quick health rule called Title 42, which allows authorities to remove someone simply because they may be carriers of the disease.

And without a legal path to the country, migrants take their lives into their own hands.

“You and I wouldn’t jump (off) a 30-foot wall, but they would,” says Dusset, head of trauma at UC San Diego Health.

In 2019, the wall spanning the U.S.-Mexico border was erected in several places, fulfilling the election promises of then-President Donald Trump.

The increase from 18 feet (5.4 meters) to 30 feet was almost instantly noticeable to Duce and his colleagues.

Two years before the increase in growth, they received 67 significant injuries; two years later, the figure reached 375.

During this time, they dealt with sixteen people who died after falling from the wall.

– “We could not return” –

“We have clear empirical evidence that these higher walls do not stop or distract migratory flows, but they do cause more serious injuries,” said Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Mexican consul in San Diego, who was called in to help hundreds of Mexicans. , hospitalized. city.

The “wall” – which is mostly a fence – runs through hills and dunes, out into the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

If imposing from afar, it seems huge up close.

“I don’t know how I got up, everything was very fast,” said one of the migrants.

The woman, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, fled Colombia with her family because of threats of reprisals.

Her terrible climb over the wall was successful.

Her daughter was unlucky, she fell and severely broke her ankle.

Even if they knew what was going to happen, they would still climb.

“We couldn’t go back,” she told AFP.

– In despair –

“During the pandemic, many asylum seekers were very desperate and disappointed that they did not have a way to present themselves at the port of entry,” said Pedro Rias of the American Committee of Friends’ NGO.

“And that meant a lot of them were crossing very dangerous areas.”

The administration of President Joe Biden has announced it will repeal Title 42 on May 23, but opposition from Republican-dominated states has tied the issue to legal knots.

The judge is expected to rule on his fate this weekend.

For participants in migration reform, Chapter 42 has failed: immigration policy, dressed as a health policy, is not suitable for any purpose.

“Title 42 has caused great human suffering,” said Aaron Reichlin-Melnik, senior policy adviser to the American Migration Board, who said 2021 and 2022 would be the deadliest years in history.

A total of 557 people died at the border in 2021, more than double the 283 deaths in 2018, up to a 42nd title and a wall elevation.

These deaths include dehydration and starvation from desert crossings, as well as people drowned in rivers.

– Health –

Perversion, Title 42 may have even increased the number of people trying to cross illegally.

It provides for immediate removal without legal repercussions, so migrants caught and sent back may try to cross it again without fear of jeopardizing a future asylum application.

The U.S. Border Patrol has recorded a record 1.73 million encounters with migrants in the 12 months to September 2021.

They are on the way to surpassing this figure this year.

“Many of them (are) the same people who cross the border several times,” says Reichlin-Melnik.

With the worst official death toll in the world and high levels of infection inside the country, the U.S. is not keeping Covid in fear by denying entry to Hispanics, he says.

The opening of the door for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion suggests that Title 42 is not about health.

“There is no reason to admit thousands of Ukrainians and block Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Haitians seeking asylum.”

At his hospital in San Diego, Duce stops at the sound of a helicopter bringing another patient.

“I think we really hoped that a simple solution like a wall would solve the problem,” he said. “It made the situation worse.

“People don’t realize how desperate they are to come.”

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