Disturbing Image Of Father And Daughter Drowning At US-Mexico Border Incites Outrage
The Washington Post reports at least 283 migrants died attempting to cross the border last year.
June 26, 2019 at 12:39 pm
An unsettling image of a father and daughter lying face-down at the United States-Mexico border has added more fuel to the backlash surrounding the failure of President Donald Trump's administration to properly handle the influx of migrants seeking asylum.
“Every time I look at that picture I see my daughter. I see my son… this is our collective story. And if we don't do anything about this, this should be our collective shame.”@MariaTCardona on the shocking image from the US-Mexico border of a Salvadoran father and his daughter pic.twitter.com/VO6ToEkY3w
— New Day (@NewDay) June 26, 2019
The photo depicts a 23-month-old girl lying face down in the waters of the Rio Grande, tucked into her father's black shirt. Her arm is draped around his neck, suggesting she died clutching his body.
CNN reports El Salvadoran authorities identified the pair as Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramírez and his daughter Angie Valeria M. Per the news site, the photo was taken by Mexican photojournalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada. Their bodies were found Monday near Matamoros, across the river from Brownsville, Texas.
In response to the photo, Salvadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandra Hill encouraged immigrants to forgo putting their lives at risk and instead work with government officials in the country on a stable economic plan.
"Our country is in mourning, again. I beg you, to all the families, parents, don't risk it. Life is worth a lot more," Hill said.
The image even evoked on-air tears from longtime CNN anchor Don Lemon.
"That picture. I can't even look at it. Every time it comes up, I have to look away," Lemon said on CNN Tonight on Tuesday.
According to NBC News, Ramírez was upset due to his family's inability to go before U.S. officials and apply for asylum. So, he began swimming across the river with Valeria. The father then set his daughter on the U.S. bank of the river and retreated to find his wife. Watching her father leave caused Valeria to jump back into the current. Her father eventually returned, but the tide proved to be too strong and it swept the duo away. The late father's wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, recounted the horrifying details to police.
"I begged them not to go, but he wanted to scrape together money to build a home," Ramírez's mother Rosa said regarding her son's decision to flee. "They hoped to be there a few years and save up for the house."
Per The Washington Post, 283 migrants died attempting to cross the border in 2018. This year's record has yet to be released.