- Harrowing photos of a drowned migrant girl and her father have triggered an intense wave of criticism.
- Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez of El Salvador and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, drowned Sunday while trying to cross the river that marks part of the US-Mexico border.
- Their bodies, arm-in-arm, were found and photographed by a journalist named Julia Le Duc and first seen in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada. The images were republished across the US.
- The images had a profound impact, illustrating the risks migrants take to reach the US.
- US politicians have used the photos to attack White House border policy, with Beto O’Rourke holding President Donald Trump personally responsible for the migrants’ deaths.
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Distressing photos of a migrant child and her father drowned on the banks of the Rio Grande have intensified condemnations of US border policy.
Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez of El Salvador and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, drowned Sunday while trying to cross the river that straddles part of the US-Mexico border.
Their bodies were photographed by a journalist named Julia Le Duc and first seen in an image published by the Mexican newspaper La Jornada. Their bodies were found Monday, arm-in-arm on the riverbank by Matamoros, Mexico, across the river from Brownsville, Texas.
The photo has spread across social media and has triggered a wave of fury aimed at President Donald Trump’s treatment of migrants.
The New York Times featured an image from a slightly different angle on its Wednesday front page, captioning it “Horror and Heartbreak.”
The United Nation refugee agency tweeted to say the scene depicted was “unacceptable,” adding, “Everyone has the right to seek asylum.”
The Vatican released a statement Wednesday that said the pope was “profoundly saddened by their death, and is praying for them and for all migrants who have lost their lives while seeking to flee war and misery.”
The Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, tweeted: “Trump is responsible for these deaths.”
Trump is responsible for these deaths. https://t.co/UZirFjh3fm
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 26, 2019
He added in a second tweet: “As his administration refuses to follow our laws — preventing refugees from presenting themselves for asylum at our ports of entry — they cause families to cross between ports, ensuring greater suffering & death. At the expense of our humanity, not to the benefit of our safety.”
Kamala Harris, also vying for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, tweeted on Tuesday night: “These families seeking asylum are often fleeing extreme violence. And what happens when they arrive? Trump says, ‘Go back to where you came from.’
“That is inhumane. Children are dying. This is a stain on our moral conscience.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Tuesday: “Very regrettable that this would happen. We have always denounced that as there is more rejection in the United States, there are people who lose their lives in the desert or crossing.”
Echoing arguments made by Trump, the former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly pointed the finger at Congress.
“The terrible picture of a migrant father and his young daughter laying dead in the Rio Grande River should finally wake up every American to the fact that Congress has failed to deal with this now life-death situation,” he tweeted.
- Read more
- Some ICE officers are reportedly furious with how Trump is handling immigration issues and are wondering ‘what the hell is going on’ at the border
- Trump still isn’t deporting as many immigrants as Obama did
- This 4-month-old baby was separated from his parents at the border. Now he is nearly 2 and still can’t speak or walk.
- Trump says ‘Obama built the cages’ that his administration has been using to lock up migrant children
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