President Donald Trump and his immigration policy were roundly blamed Tuesday night after a migrant man and his 23-month-old daughter drowned in Mexico’s Rio Grande River while trying to enter the U.S.
The photograph published in Mexican newspapers has shocked the world.
Centrally blamed was Trump administration’s “metering” policy, which has reduced the number of migrants allowed to request asylum at some ports of entry.
Julia Le Duc, the photographer who captured the image of the pair, wrote in Mexican newspaper La Jornada that Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter, Valeria, attempted to cross in desperation after months in a camp near the border waiting to be allowed to present themselves to U.S. authorities and request asylum.
“Very regrettable that this would happen,” said Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
“We have always denounced that as there is more rejection in the United States, there are people who lose their lives.”
Ramírez, from El Salvador, reportedly made it across with his daughter and set her on U.S. bank but, when he returned for his wife, Valeria jumped back into the water. He managed to grab his daughter but then they were swept away by the tide.
In El Salvador, Ramirez’s mother was inconsolable after being shown the photograph of her son and grand daughter.
According to AP, the 2000 mile-long US-Mexico border crossing has long been a death trap for migrants, from the scorching Sonoran Desert to the fast-moving Rio Grande.
A total of 283 migrant deaths were recorded last year; the toll so far this year has not been released.