Father And Daughter Drowned in Rio Grande Trying To Cross The U.S. Border. Shocking Picture
- Warning: This article contains an image that some may find distressing
The photo that horrified the world and made people think about the challenges thousand of migrants have to face every year trying to make it cross the U.S. border. The image of father and his two year old daughter lying face down drowned in shallow water along the bank of the Rio Grande is really haunting.
According to Le Duc, the journalist who took this photo Martínez's family, who had made the journey to the U.S.-Mexico border from El Salvador, had decided to try to swim across the Rio Grande in Matamoros in the Mexican state of Coahuila to reach U.S. shores. They had previously struggled to make an asylum request with American immigration authorities.
“I was drawn to the girl’s arm on her father,” Le Duc said as she described arriving at the scene. “It was something that moved me in the extreme because it reflects that until her last breath, she was joined to him not only by the shirt but also in that embrace in which they passed together into death.”
“It’s a horrifying image,” Maureen Meyer, a specialist on immigration at the Washington Office on Latin America, which advocates for human rights in the region, said of the photograph. “And I think it speaks so clearly to the real risks of these U.S. programs that are either returning people back to Mexico seeking asylum or in this case limiting how many people can enter the U.S. every day.”
Beto O'Rourke, 2020 presidential contender, said on his Facebook page that it was not the river that killed them. He asserts that Trump is responsible for their death.
"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 and death. At the expense of our humanity, not to the benefit of our safety," the former Texas representative said.
Meanwhile, Mexico is stepping up its own crackdown on immigration in response to U.S. pressure, with much of the focus on slowing the flow in the country’s south.
“With greater crackdowns and restrictions,” said Cris Ramón, senior immigration policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank in Washington, “we could see more desperate measures by people trying to enter Mexico or the U.S.”
Shortly after the picture was released, the acting head of US Custom and Border Protection (CBP), John Sanders, claimed that he was resigning amid the on growing fuss over the number of migrant children being held in the pitiful or sometimes even dreadful conditions at the agency stations. Although, there was no exposed reason for his leaving.
“Although I will leave it to you to determine whether I was successful, I can unequivocally say that helping support the amazing men and women of CBP has been the most fulfilling and satisfying opportunity of my career,” he said.
And still, six children have passed away since September after being detained by border agents.