October 13, 2019

What This Photo Tells Us About Our Border Policy

“This is the photo that encapsulates the cruelty of the Trump era: a father and daughter lying dead on the banks of the Rio Grande river, her tiny arm draped around his neck, drowned after an attempt to cross onto American soil and seek asylum.

I don’t like having to look at it, but it’s important: It is the true face of the Trump administration’s approach to immigration, the physical embodiment of the nativism that animates it.

These are the bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter, Valeria, who is almost 2.

The backstory behind these photos, as reported by Julia De Luc in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, is that Oscar and his wife Tania Vanessa Ávalos were attempting to enter the United States from their native El Salvador to exercise their legal right to seek asylum. They were being held in a migrant camp on the Mexican side of the border, a camp that didn’t have enough food while temperatures soared to more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit.”

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