A Tucson-based newspaper documents how, because the U.S. border fence with Mexico is so high, many attempting to cross are suffering severe injuries. Furthermore, those treated are often not able to pay their hospital costs.
Perla Trevizo for the Arizona Daily Star documents a spike of illegal immigrants, “especially women – getting hurt trying to jump the border fence. They think incorrectly, that the jump will be easier than making the treacherous trek through the 100-degree desert.”
This year the Mexican Consulate in Tucson has seen more people needing medical attention after falling from the border fence than from crossing the desert, said Ricardo Pineda, the consul general. So far this year, there have been 37 cases of injured Mexican migrants. In all of 2014 Pineda’s office reported 56 cases. That includes all injuries, not just falling from the fence.
Trevizo also noted that Banner-University Medical Center brings in about 50 crossers a year, according to a spokeswoman for the hospital. Injuries are from both the fence and the desert, and are mainly fractures and lacerations. “We bill these patients, but few are able to pay anything, so most of the charges, are written off,” hospital spokeswoman Katie Riley told the Daily Star.
Another hospital, Tucson Medical Center, told the publication they provided $13.6 million in uncompensated care costs, including charity care, bad debt, and discounts for the uninsured. The federal government used to subsidize them, but that source is no longer available.
“What surprises us is that people continue to jump from heights that can be the equivalent of a two- or even three-story house,” said Fernando Valdez, Mexico’s deputy consul general in Nogales. “But we hear they feel pressured to do it because they are holding the line or they start insulting them, telling them to jump.”
h/t: Free Patriot Post