Two Guatemalan teenagers were severely injured after falling off the border wall separating the United States and Mexico.
A group of six illegal aliens, all from Guatemala, tried to scale the 18-foot border wall east of the San Luis Port of Entry in Arizona on Dec. 10.
But while climbing, a 14-year-old who was traveling with her mother fell and sustained a serious back injury, according to the Customs and Border Protection.
Another teen, an unaccompanied 17-year-old girl, also fell off the wall and was left with an ankle injury.
“The only legal and safe method of entry into the United States is through a designated port of entry,” said Yuma Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Carl Landrum said in a statement.
“People entering our country illegally, at places other than designated ports of entry, put themselves and their families in dangerous situations that could result in significant injury or even death,” he said.
Yuma Station Border Patrol agents soon arrived on the scene and called for emergency medics, who took the girls away on backboards.
The younger teen was taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center and later airlifted to a hospital in Phoenix. Her injuries were described as several broken vertebrae by the Arizona Republic. The older teen was treated for her injuries and later released.
The injuries and a recent death that came from crossing into the United States followed a migrant mother getting impaled after falling from the border wall.
The 26-year-old, also a Guatemalan, tried to enter the country near the San Ysidro Port of Entry in California.
But she tried to climb a portion of the wall that was undergoing construction, and when she fell she was impaled on a piece of rebar.
Border Patrol and San Diego Fire-Rescue Department officials responded to provide emergency services to the woman. Her injuries were described as nonlife-threatening.
A photo released by the Border Patrol showed her lying in the dirt, with some blood visible.
“Entering our country illegally, particularly over our walls is not only dangerous, but also very foolish,” San Diego’s chief Border Patrol agent, Rodney Scott, wrote in a statement. “This woman placed her own life and her children’s lives in peril. She could have easily died if not for the quick response by our agents and EMS.”
Vincent Dulesky, the special operations supervisor for Border Patrol in Yuma, told the Arizona Republic that agents have seen an increase of border wall- and fence-related injuries.
“When the smugglers force them to go over something they don’t want to go over. They’re going to get hurt eventually,” he said. “We’re seeing a ton of injuries. Anywhere from lacerations to broken legs, broken ankles, broken hips. These all require hospitalization.”