Pedro Gomez, 37, of Guatemala was so determined after he injured himself toppling off the top of the fence, he “crawled on hands and knees” away from the structure because he couldn’t walk.
The men are now recovering in a migrant shelter in this desolate border town about 90 miles from where they fell off the fence. They were swiftly returned to Mexico under title 42, a pandemic policy enacted by the Trump administration to control the spread of COVID-19.
Gomez said a Border Patrol agent told him he would be sent to the hospital in the U.S.. “But to my surprise, they dropped me off here.” He has casts on both his legs and sits in a wheelchair most of the day at the shelter.
Ushca Alcoser spends most of his day on a bunk bed in pain with a back and pelvis injury. He said he told the Border Patrol agents who found him at the foot of the wall he was in severe pain but his pleas “fell on deaf ears.”
“I told them I couldn’t move,” said Ushca Alcoser. But they said ‘stand up, standup.’ I don’t know where I found the strength.”
Both men said they were sent to Mexico without medical attention. Even though they crossed as undocumented migrants, they want their names to help verify their accounts
“When it is apparent that someone is hurt we will administer first aid and request assistance as needed,” said El Paso Sector Border Patrol Chief Gloria Chavez. In her emailed statement, Chavez said medical assistance may include a Border Patrol agent trained as an EMT or “possibly an ambulance service depending on the severity and complexity of the injury.”
Border Patrol disputes the men at the Palomas shelter were injured when they were expelled to Mexico. “Our records indicate that neither individual you mention presented illness or injury during their brief encounters with our agents,” according to an email from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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