President Donald Trump responded Wednesday to the furor over a devastating photo of a migrant father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande trying to reach the U.S.
“I hate it. I know it could stop immediately if the Democrats changed the law. They have to change the laws. That father, who probably was this wonderful guy, with his daughter, things like that wouldn’t happen. Because that journey across that river, that journey across that river is a very dangerous journey,” Trump told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
The New York Times featured the photo at the top of its front page Wednesday. It shows the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month old daughter, Valeria, reported The Associated Press. Martinez grew frustrated with the asylum process in Mexico and took Valeria across the river, reported Julia Le Duc of Mexican newspaper La Jornada according to the AP. (RELATED: Highlights Magazine Condemns Family Separation At The Border Even Though Trump Ended Policy In 2018)
“If you look at what’s happening, the cartels and the coyotes, they are getting rich because the Democrats refuse to change the loopholes,” Trump said Wednesday afternoon. “They refuse to change the asylum. In one hour we could have it done. They want to have open borders, and open borders mean crime. And open borders mean people drowning in the rivers, and it’s a very dangerous thing.”
The president also thanked Mexico for cutting the influx of Central American migrants toward the U.S. border.
“Now, I want to thank Mexico. They put 6,000 people at the border,” Trump said.
The photo shows a tragedy that’s part of a much larger humanitarian crisis at the border, which prompted the House to pass a $4.5 billion immigration package Tuesday aiming to improve conditions.
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