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How the U.S. Weaponized the Border Wall

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Written by Greg Grandin

Migrants die and disappear in staggeringly high numbers along the U.S.-Mexico border, as Washington over the years has shut down relatively safe, traditional urban entry points, forcing border crossers into hostile desert terrain. Migrants also sustain severe life-threatening or crippling injuries. They fall into mine shafts and break their backs. Dehydration damages their kidneys. Others are bitten by snakes or injured in chases. The tall metal fences that run as barriers along segments of the border also serve as weapons. Migrants sever limbs climbing the barriers and break bones falling off them.

“Border-related trauma is so common,” anthropologist Ieva Jusionyte writes, “that it has become normalized.”

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