A pastor who runs shelters in Mexico at the US border, has accused American border patrol agents of sending injured migrants back without providing them medical support, calling it a “new low” for the country.
Pastor Rosalio Sosa, who runs a network of migrant shelters at US-Mexico border, told Dallas News a shelter in Palomas gets about seven injured migrants per week and the situation there looks like that of a “war zone,” with number of injured piling up.
“This has become a war zone, with war injuries and no resources,” Ms Sosa was quoted as saying in the report. “But governments need to know that deserts, rivers, walls are no match for hunger.”
The “big, beautiful wall” built under former president Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign to stop the influx of illegal immigrants and drugs over the border is leading to crippling injuries to migrants attempting to cross the border amid worsening situation in the home country.
The migrants from Mexico, trying to flee the country amid political unrest and economic fallout, have alleged that they are being “dumped” back in “Mexico like garbage” without border security force providing them medical help, a claim that has been denied by the border patrol agency.
Pedro Gomez, who attempted to flee Guatemala in January, said his ankles were broken after falling from the wall and he had to crawl to the US border agent’s vehicle.
“I couldn’t even get up, so I crawled inside the migra [US Border patrol] vehicle”, Mr Gomez said, adding: “they dumped us in Mexico like garbage, a piece of trash.”
In response to the migrants and pastor questioning the ill-treatment, the border patrol agency released a statement rejecting the claims. It said the agents regularly encountered injured migrants and administered medical aid to those hurt.
“We routinely encounter injured people on the border, most of which are individuals that have entered the country illegally. When it is apparent that someone is hurt we will administer first aid and request assistance as needed,” El Paso sector border patrol chief, Gloria Chavez, said in the statement.
Another migrant, Jhon Jairo Ushca Alcoser, who left his home in Ecuador, also recalled his arduous journey and said he was returned despite receiving grave injuries, including broken tendons and a fractured back and pelvis.
He said that he informed border patrol agents he was in “excruciating pain” and couldn’t move. But he was forced to get up and sent back to Mexico, dragging his feet, as another migrant held him up.
Joe Biden formally issued a proclamation, days after taking office, to terminate a national emergency declaration on the US-Mexico border issued by Mr Trump as part of an effort to fund his long-promised border wall.
Mr Trump had declared a national emergency on the southern border to divert funds to boost construction of the wall. He later prolonged it to 2022 before leaving office.
Mr Sosa said he is now preparing for a huge influx of migrants as Mr Biden stirred hope among the people of Latin America, ravaged by worsening pandemic and still under the devastating aftermath of two hurricanes.
Biden’s administration is seeking to process the cases of 25,000 asylum seekers, beginning from May, under the new initiative.