SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The number of Mexican migrants getting killed or injured while trying to enter the United States in the San Diego-Tijuana region has gone up by 162 percent in the last three years, according to data provided by the Mexican Consulate in San Diego.
Statistics released by the consulate show 42 migrants from Mexico died last year, slightly up from 41 in 2021. In 2020 the figure was just 16.
When injured migrants are added, the number goes up to 646 dead or injured for the three previous years.
The 30-foot border barrier is blamed for most of the injuries and deaths.
“It is a significant increase that we attribute to height of border wall. It went from 17 feet to 30 feet,” said Carlos González Gutiérrez, Mexico’s Consul General in San Diego.
The consulate’s figures show only 20 percent of Mexican nationals, who were hospitalized in 2022, sustained injuries unrelated to the wall, suffering from illnesses such as heat stroke and dehydration.
The others were sent to trauma centers with bruises, fractures, lacerations, spinal cord and brain injuries when falling off the wall, according to the consulate’s report.
Statistics based on the consular investigations and interviews have been made public.
“Empirical evidence shows that higher walls have not been able to stop or divert the flows of migrants but have clearly increased the severity of injuries and deaths,” González said. “Undocumented Mexican nationals willing to cross to the U.S. in between ports of entry, should be aware of deceitful human smugglers who distort reality, create false expectations, and expose migrants to severe injuries or death.”
The Consul General said his office is part of a group of agencies and institutions in the San Diego region that share injury and death reports involving migrants who fall from the border walls.
“We review every two months the numbers and they all show the same thing, it’s not only us, it’s empirical evidence that shows a taller wall clearly increases the number of hospitalizations and deaths,” he said.
Statistics and figures provided by the Mexican Consulate only apply to migrants from Mexico.
Border Report reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection about the consulate’s claims, but we have not heard back.
CBP officials have said that the taller wall not only makes it more difficult for migrants to get across, but it buys border agents more time to respond.
In other parts of the border, officials say, the wall prevents migrants from entering dangerous terrain and can lead migrants who walk along the wall to border agents who are waiting to help.
On the other hand, CBP says the taller border wall also protects agents on the ground who periodically have rocks thrown at them. The spacing on the bollards also allows agents to see and monitor what is going on on the other side of the wall.