To escape the lingering, devastating effects of two hurricanes and the reach of organized crime, Pedro Gomez fled Guatemala in January and headed north, looking for hope.
Thousands of miles south, Jhon Jairo Ushca Alcoser, too, left his country, Ecuador, fleeing political unrest and the economic fallout of a global pandemic that’s ravaged his nation.
For both men, it seemed as if nothing would stand in the way of their cherished dream – certainly not deserts, rivers, unscrupulous smugglers, or the infamous wall they had heard so much about. But then that same wall nearly crippled them. And fhs the U.S. Border Patrol — then “dumped us in Mexico like garbage, a piece of trash,” said Pedro Gomez, 37. They say agents who discovered them injured sent them back across the border rather than providing them medical care on American soil.
It’s not clear why these injured migrants were deported to Mexico, even after both said they told agents they couldn’t walk.
“I couldn’t even get up, so I crawled inside the migra vehicle,” said Gomez, after falling off the wall in late January. At one point, he says he was told he was going to be taken to a U.S. hospital, but instead was dropped off at the border crossing nearly 90 miles from where he fell off the wall near El Paso. His ankles are broken and he cannot walk.
Ushca Alcoser said he told Border Patrol agents he couldn’t move and was “screaming in excruciating pain” after he fell backwards off of a 30-foot section of the wall newly installed during the Trump administration as Border Patrol agents stood in front of him in early February.
But “they said ‘stand up, stand up.’ I don’t know where I found the strength.” He says he was sent back to Mexico, dragging his feet as another migrant held him up. X-Rays later revealed broken tendons and a fractured back and pelvis, Sosa said.
The two men asked their names be used so their accounts of events can be verified.
Separately, a Border Patrol spokesman said the agency does not track injuries related to the wall.
Source: The Dallas Morning, “Injured Migrants Say Border Patrol Sent Them Back to Mexico After They Fell Off Trump’s Wall” February 2021. <https://www.dallasnews.com/news/immigration/2021/02/14/injured-migrants-say-border-patrol-sent-them-back-to-mexico-after-they-fell-off-trumps-wall/>.